Brooklyn Eagle Wednesday that he is retiring and leaving Brooklyn. (See update below.)
Diamond's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel tours, where urban spelunkers climb deep into the cool, cave like tunnel under one of Brooklyn's busiest streets, attract hundreds (to the intersection just steps away from Trader Joe's) every month.
Diamond discovered the tunnel in 1981, after hearing about the legend of a Civil War era rail tunnel on a radio show. After an eight-month search (during which he was repeated advised by City officials to give up on his lost cause) he dramatically uncovered, intact, the world's first subway tunnel.
Diamond has been long frustrated by the city's bureaucracy in his attempts to break through a back wall of the Atlantic Avenue tunnel in search of a long-rumored historic locomotive, and in his dream to rebuild Brooklyn's trolley system.
He accused Joseph Palmieri, the city Department of Transportation’s Brooklyn commissioner, of "sitting on grants" secured by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and others that could have been used for a streetcar system in the borough.
National Geographic Television had expressed interest in filming a TV show in which crews would break through one of the Atlantic Avenue tunnel’s walls to see if the historic locomotive was hidden there. Diamond blamed city bureaucracy for holding up the necessary permits.
This is just sad. Perhaps it's Diamond's fault, or perhaps the city just doesn't have the energy or money for a quirky dreamer anymore.
Whatever the reason, Brooklyn loses when Diamond moves out.
Full story at the Brooklyn Eagle.
UPDATE: BP Marty Markowitz may have just saved the day! See here.
- Quite a Crowd for Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Is Probably Haunted
- What's Behind the Wall? Atlantic Ave. Tunnel Mystery
- Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel: What's Behind the Wall?
- Let Them Laugh: Bob Diamond's Brooklyn Trolley Idea Gains Traction
- Mole People Back in Brooklyn?
- Lineup For Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Brooklyn Spelunking: Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Return
Some video and photos of the interior here.
Photos copyright MK Metz
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