It seems I have been a trail blazer in my novel The Bonner Deception. Written decades ago, it devotes a chapter to one of the ways General Bonner protects his "secret".
He has created a fake house, which consists of only one wall facing the street. The facade has a door and windows, and the windows have appropriate lighting for appropriate times of day and night, plus blinds and curtains. However, door and windows (upstairs and down) are really portals for mortars and machine guns, ready to be manned upon any sight of armed invasion. Oh - yes - the house is situated at a critical curve in the roadway.
I had, of course, read about Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin, who created whole villages of this type in the reign of Catherine the Great. But I did not suspect that such houses actually existed in some major cities in the world.
I should perhaps stake out my claim as a trend-setter. [DE]
Italian edition of The Bonner Deception
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The Fake Townhouses hiding Mystery Underground Portals
Every city has its secrets, it’s just a matter of finding them…
On a street in Brooklyn that takes you towards the river, where the cobblestones begin paving the road, there is a townhouse that deserves a second look. Despite its impeccable brickwork, number 58 Joralemon Street is not like the other houses. Behind its blacked out windows, no one is at home; no one has been at home for more than 100 years. In fact, number 58 is not a home at all, but a secret subway exit and ventilation point disguised as a Greek Revival brownstone.
The house stands directly nine stories above the New York City subway tracks for lines 4 and 5, which carries passengers from the nearby station Borough Hall in Brooklyn under the East River over to Manhattan Island. If you approach the front door and peak through the crack, you’ll eyeball a bleakly lit windowless room with concrete flooring and a metal bunker-style door that could easily lead to a bat cave. Every so often, neighbours have reported¹ seeing men dressed in special work suits in the middle of the night hanging around the stoop at number 58.
The property was once a private residence dating back to 1847, according to the Willowtown Association, but in 1908, as the first underwater subway tunnel connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn was being constructed, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York acquired the house. The windows were fitted with unsightly industrial steel shutters as the site was converted into a subway ventilator as part of a vast network for the tunnels below. For decades, vented air simply poured out from the windows according to neighbours¹, who knew it only as the “Shaft House”.