Friday, June 04, 2010

Fake Houses Are Everywhere

(Above: Can you spot the fake house?)

I can't believe I've never posted on this subject. It's one that's fascinated me for quite some time.

The fact is, if you live in a major metropolitan area, there's a good chance that at least one of the houses you regularly pass on the street isn't quite . . . real.

Take, for example, 23/24 Leinster Gardens in London (shown above). It looks like a house. It has columns and balconies and plants growing in the boxes out front. But the whole thing's just for show. The house that once stood on the site was torn down in the 19th century to make way for a subway line. To keep the neighbors happy, a facade was built to hide the gaping hole and open train tracks that replaced the lovely dwelling.

But unless you took a very close look, you'd probably never know the difference! (Want to know more? Check out the whole story and more pictures here.)

But enough with London. Recently, I was thrilled to learn that there's a brownstone in Brooklyn that hides a secret entrance to/exit from the New York subway system. And only the NYPD knows where it is! According to the Associated Press . . .

The NYPD allowed the AP to visit the hidden exit — fronted by the phony house in a quiet residential neighborhood — on the condition that its origins and location not be disclosed. The department also barred photos.

Located in the tunnel just east of the river, the exit leads to a grimy lit set of metal stairs that ascend past utility boxes and ventilation shafts into a bleak, windowless room with a door. Anyone opening the door would find themselves on a stoop — part of the facade replicating a town house.

The passageway once was secured from the outside only by a giant bolt in the middle of the door that was opened with a tire iron. It's now rigged with silent alarms and motion detectors that would alert police to an intruder.

Awesome. I believe it is my duty as a citizen of Brooklyn to discover the location of this house and use the entrance to begin my subterranean life of crime. (Kidding!) If any of you find it first, send me a picture! I promise I won't tell a soul.

(Oh, and I know for a fact that it's not the only dummy house in NYC. So even if you spend your days in one of the four other boroughs, you should still keep an eye out!)


Blogger The Golden Eagle said...

That is so cool! The house looks totally real from the front!

6:22 PM  
Anonymous EQ said...

Wow! But why is the NYPD keeping it secret? Does it lead into secure areas? If so--why not just fill those in? Unless the NYP's want to be able to snoop.

Did you hear about Google "accidentally" recording 600 gigs of private info off of people's wireless networks? Video here:

"Accidentally"? Really?

11:02 PM  
Blogger Halley said...

I know!! That's kind of weird!

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the london house reminds me of 12 grimmauld place for some reason and the subway brownstone reminds me of iris' brownstone, with the shadow city trapdoor.............ooh, i hope you find that brownstone!

12:22 AM  
Blogger Nikki M said...

Thats soo would be funny if you told someone the address of the fake house, saying that it was yours=P

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Hana said...

Oh, wow! If I ever go to New York (crossing fingers) I am definitely looking for that.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

ahh this makes me so excited, hope someone finds it!

3:46 PM  
Anonymous 6x7 said...

I THINK the fake house is in the middle. And who do you think they got to paint that? do they have to comeback in the dead of night to repaint it? Is the backing wood or metal? What would the NYPD do if a concerned citizen accidenly stumbled in? All these questions and more may be answered in the next post!

11:57 AM  
Blogger liltomboyblue11;) said...

Wow! That reminds me of the fake encyclopedia articles that posted about awhile back.

I was watching the google video and when they were showing the random words I saw: Ground control to major Tom (David Bowie song!) Sorry about the randomness of that, but I thought it was neat.

The thing about the Google video: they already have almost constant access to all of that information anyway, and as far as we know, they haven't done anything wrong with it. I'm inclined to believe that it was an accident. On some phones, particularly landlines, you can pick up snippets of neighbor conversations, but that doesn't mean you did so on purpose. Sorry for being long-winded :P

2:49 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

My comment for the video didn'tget posted. :( probably my fault, but here's the run down:

You remind me of my cousin so much it's freaky! You have the same voice too! Are related to someone named Megan Shea????? sorry, bu tis creepy!

9:28 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

Laura dekker has her own website! The dutch girl who wantedto sail around the world!


9:38 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...


9:42 PM  
Anonymous WillSing said...

Cool! But it makes me wonder....what else is the NYPD hiding from us? HMMMMM....


11:06 PM  
Blogger Alli The Totally Wicked Novelist said...

That's crazy! And really good inspiration...

11:48 AM  

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