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Tunnels in d'town Nashville


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19 replies to this topic

#1 nashville_bound

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 11:13 AM

A couple of years ago when Corporate Express left the old McQuiddy building (located between the Masonic lodge and James Robertson Apts on 7th) I purchased some office furniture at auction. There was a very large subterranean showroom on a lower level and passageways that radiates in at least three directions under the streets. I asked about them and was told that they are parts of a network of tunnels that connect older buildings under Nashville's city streets.

Now I know that many cities have these 'tunnels' that are generally original streets before the city was built up. My question is does anyone have a resource that maps the tunnels? Also I would love to have a tour and walk beneath the city.

Thanks

 

#2 Rural King

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 11:58 AM

This is a new one for me. I had absolutely no idea anything like this existed in Nashville, so I'm really interested to learn more about this topic. :D

#3 linclink

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 12:47 PM

I think I heard Dave talking about this a while ago... in a thread about Hume Fogg HS.... I don't remember all the details though...

#4 GaTechGuy

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 01:02 PM

I used to go to Hume-Fogg and there are three tunnels that come into its basement as well. From what I understand one comes from the state capital one goes across the street to the Customs House (which used to be the old federal courthouse) and one goes out to the Cumberland river. There are supposed to be many other tunnels all through out downtown. I was told that these tunnels were all built before and during the Civil War. They were first built by the Confederates so that they could easily evacuate the city if it were attacked. Then after the Union took Nashville over they expanded the network of tunnels for pretty much the same reason. Although most of the original buildings that the tunnels were built to serve no longer exist the tunnels are still there running under the streets.

#5 smeagolsfree

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 01:07 PM

I know there are tunnels that connect the Renaissance Hotel with the convention ceter and the GEC. I heard the same rumors when I first moved here. I did a search on Goggle and came up with zip. I'll bet Dave knows for sure.

#6 Rural King

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 01:16 PM

I do know that the state Captiol has a tunnel that runs under Charlotte Ave. to connect it to Legislative Plaza and the War Memorial Building. Thats the only one I think I knew about until this thread.

#7 jdavidf

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 01:32 PM

OK - I've never heard of this, but I'm now officially intrigued... I'll be watching this thread with bated breath! I wonder how the average person could get entrance - wouldn't that be cool to explore?

Thanks for bringing this up!

David

#8 cheeriokid61

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 02:21 PM

I highly doubt you can get entrance without a very good reason.

#9 jdavidf

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 04:01 PM

I highly doubt you can get entrance without a very good reason.


Well yeah, you're right of course -- now to come up with a really really good reason! :)

#10 Lexy

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 04:57 PM

This might be the best question of Nashville I have seen in a while.

#11 mcashlv

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 11:59 AM

OK - I've never heard of this, but I'm now officially intrigued... I'll be watching this thread with bated breath!

I wonder how the average person could get entrance - wouldn't that be cool to explore?

Thanks for bringing this up!

David


I lived in West Meade as a kid in the mid '60's, went to H.G. Hill elementary. Nashville was a great place for a kid back then, lots of hills and caves in West Meade to explore, and we lived next to an old quarry that had filled with water and was teeming with fish and other wildlife. The tunnels in downtown would make an incredible tourist attraction, would be worth millions per year. Someone should approach the city about this.

#12 ZachariahDaMan

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 12:40 PM

This is a very interesting topic. Up here in Michigan a couple years ago there was tunnels in a city called Northville that you could gain access in and you could walk all through them. Since I'm only 17 I was too young at the time to even know about them so I never got the chance to go to them and now they have been closed off and no access to them can be gained. Here is the Northville Tunnels website: http://www.northville-tunnels.com/

Sorry that this has nothing to do with what you guys were talking about but I thought I would tell you because I find it really interesting.

Edited by ZachariahDaMan, 16 October 2005 - 12:41 PM.


#13 nashville_bound

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 03:03 PM

Well, I have spoken to the Metro Historical and Zoning Commission and the 'Nashville' Research Room of the public library. The Historic Commission had no information. The Library Research Staff responded that they too had heard the 'urban legend' but had hard evidence.

Any ideas?

#14 GaTechGuy

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 03:42 PM

Well, I have spoken to the Metro Historical and Zoning Commission and the 'Nashville' Research Room of the public library. The Historic Commission had no information. The Library Research Staff responded that they too had heard the 'urban legend' but had hard evidence.

Any ideas?


Had hard evidence or had no hard evidence? As for evidence of whether or not they exist I've seen the ones in the basement of Hume-Fogg so I know they exist. As for why they exist that is a matter of debate... The ones in the basement of HFA seem a bit crude so I would be inclined to think they are fairly old as for the whole civil war explaination that is just what I was told by a teacher @ HFA back when I was in High School. It makes sense but who knows...

#15 TennBear

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 07:14 PM

A couple of years ago when Corporate Express left the old McQuiddy building (located between the Masonic lodge and James Robertson Apts on 7th) I purchased some office furniture at auction. There was a very large subterranean showroom on a lower level and passageways that radiates in at least three directions under the streets. I asked about them and was told that they are parts of a network of tunnels that connect older buildings under Nashville's city streets.

Now I know that many cities have these 'tunnels' that are generally original streets before the city was built up. My question is does anyone have a resource that maps the tunnels? Also I would love to have a tour and walk beneath the city.

Thanks


A number of Canadian cities and Northern Cities have them for obvious reasons. A number of others have or also have crossovers between the buildings above street level to keep people from going out into the weather. It would be cool and interesting if these could be used and tie into businesses for retail etc in Nashville. From what I read in this it seems like the state government could be using some of these if they were brought back up to standards. I know that it doesn't happen that often in Nashville, but could also be used for shelters from tornadoes. I remember that Nashville had one downtown, not that many years ago.

#16 Lexy

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 08:03 PM

A number of Canadian cities and Northern Cities have them for obvious reasons. A number of others have or also have crossovers between the buildings above street level to keep people from going out into the weather. It would be cool and interesting if these could be used and tie into businesses for retail etc in Nashville. From what I read in this it seems like the state government could be using some of these if they were brought back up to standards. I know that it doesn't happen that often in Nashville, but could also be used for shelters from tornadoes. I remember that Nashville had one downtown, not that many years ago.



I lived in Lexington, KY for two, or three years, and downtown is all connected by the raised pedways between buildings. While it does get colder up there in the winter, it deters from people walking on the street, plus it is never THAT cold anyway. Which all this discourages the streetlevel retail we all love to see. Albeit, it really isn't hurting the core of Lexington at the moment of course. It has a pretty healthy core for a city hovering around 300,000 peole. I should get back up there for a picture thread soon. Hmmm.....



BTW, that is how I came up with my screen name. Lexy is short for Lexington. I am known on quite a few urban/skyscraper forums by this name. In person, everyone just calls me Michael though. Just a little history lesson from me.

Edited by Lexy, 19 October 2005 - 08:05 PM.


#17 linclink

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 10:06 PM

Hey Lexy... I've been told that Lexington is an amazingly beautifull city... post some pics some time, and link it to here!!!

#18 ZachariahDaMan

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 09:32 AM

That's a good idea. I would love to see some pictures of Lexington too, I haven't seen any.

#19 jdavidf

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 10:15 AM

I used to live in Houston and remember that they had a pretty extensive tunnel system downtown. I didn't get down there very many times, but it was pretty cool.. (with a little luck, this link will work!)

http://www.houstondo...lSkywalkSystem/


Their system has been evolving and growing since the 1920s, so it would be a huge undertaking to convert whatever's here now into something like this, but what a great concept! It could be Nashville's "Big Dig"!

David

#20 TennBear

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 11:03 AM

I lived in Lexington, KY for two, or three years, and downtown is all connected by the raised pedways between buildings. While it does get colder up there in the winter, it deters from people walking on the street, plus it is never THAT cold anyway. Which all this discourages the streetlevel retail we all love to see. Albeit, it really isn't hurting the core of Lexington at the moment of course. It has a pretty healthy core for a city hovering around 300,000 peole. I should get back up there for a picture thread soon. Hmmm.....
BTW, that is how I came up with my screen name. Lexy is short for Lexington. I am known on quite a few urban/skyscraper forums by this name. In person, everyone just calls me Michael though. Just a little history lesson from me.


Michael, nice to hear from you.

I like Lexington too, except for all that Blue. LOL Being a Tennessee Grad, I had to put in something about UK. The last time that I drove back from Memphis home to DC I went through Lexington. I really enjoyed going trough Kentucky because the highways are so much less crowded than going through Tennessee.

My memory cells are not working the best, but there is a town in East Tennessee, I want to say Morristown; that has raised sidewalks. It has sidewalks on the ground level and on the second floor level. They are pretty empty and the city may have taken them down by now. At one time, the town flooded and they got money from the FEDs to put in the sidewalks so that they could prevent the flooding again.

Anyway in person, people call me Patrick. Hey, I like history lessons. I'm always throwing out those old memories for just that very reason.