Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crazy Saga of Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Continues

The Fire Department halted Bob Diamond's famous Atlantic Avenue Tunnel tours last Friday for safety reasons, but the Department of Transportation won't let him implement a major fix that FDNY requires, according to an email Diamond sent in.

FDNY says the tunnel is unsafe because, for one, it has only one entrance -- through a manhole at Atlantic and Court Streets. They say that they might consider reopening the tunnel if ten changes are made, including opening another entrance, perhaps through a ventilator. They also want Diamond (or someone) to install code-compliant electrical wiring and lighting, provide first-aid equipment and more.

However, Diamond told the Brooklyn Eagle yesterday that he has repeatedly asked DOT to build a second entrance, but the DOT has refused to do so.

On top of that, Diamond said in an email to us, "DOT won't give us work permits to open the other existing tunnel entrances. Recall the movie Catch 22 -- this is it!"

Diamond has been giving the tours since 1982. (National Geographic started filming a special about it just this past weekend. That project is now in jeopardy.)

The NY Daily News, Gothamist and the Brooklyn Eagle have more to say about this.

National Geographic to Start Filming Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Documentary This Weekend
- Welcome Back Bob: Hundreds Take Sunday's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tour
- Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Saved! BP Markowitz Prevails Upon Bob Diamond
- Atlantic Tunnel's Bob Diamond Leaving Brooklyn? Say It Ain't So!
- 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

Photo copyright MK Metz

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Anonymous said...

What I wanna know is if all the money this tour takes in goes to Bob himself. At $15 a head and hundreds waiting to take it this thing brings in a lot of cash. He has people helping him (students usually) but (according to one of the students) he pays very little. Does Bob file takes? Does the city get a cut? I can only imagine how much coin this tour has taken in over the years. I doubt Bob "owns" that hole and the tunnel. Big questions no one is willing to talk about.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to think the National Geographic filming had something to do with all this. Not sure why that triggered off the city but it seems like it did...

Anonymous said...

Think the big crowds are fairly recent -- since the blogs got wind of this thing. Years went by when he didn't even give tours. Got the impression he begged, borrowed and stole to get the trolley built, then lost it. Course I don't really know, just my impression. He doesn't seem to be living large, that's all.