Lots of people who travel around surely make it a point to visit the well-known landmarks of the place. Taking a selfie featuring a popular landmark has been the trend, even before the term “selfie” was widely used. These photos serve not only as souvenirs of the visit, but bragging rights to friends and family. But lots of these people are unaware that some of these landmarks have hidden or concealed secrets. Some of them are more amazing than others.
Well, one of the most visited landmarks in Paris is obviously the Eiffel Tower. It is a monumental structure that has always been awesome. But few realize that Gustave Eiffel built himself a secret luxury apartment atop the tower. It only opened to the public in 2015, 90 years after his death.
The Empire state building is another iconic landmark with a secret of its own. The 103rd floor is not listed, as it is reserved for a select few – the rich or famous. It’s a small observatory with a 360 degree view, and almost sound-proof.
Mount Rushmore has more than some people realize. There is a secret chamber in it that was started by the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, as he wanted to have a Hall of Records. It was unfinished when he died in 1941, but in 1998, the government put a sealed titanium vault with copies of important documents.
Grand Central Station is the 3rd busiest terminal in North America. But not many know that it has a subway station under it. It led directly to the Waldorf-Astoria, and was used from the 1930s to the 1960s by the rich, so that they didn’t have to mingle with the masses. It has since then been totally closed off.
Times Square has a major building that is empty. It is where they drop the New Year’s Ball every year. It has been a towering, vacant advertising stand since 1992, and earns over $23 million a year.
Radio City Hall has a luxurious apartment that is up for rent. The well-maintained place was the bachelor pad of Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel, the first impresario who brought in a load of top acts.
Another hidden secret lies beneath Lake Erie. There is a three-mile long salt mine complex deep underground, that fresh air has to be pumped in, and miner’s have to carry an hour’s worth of backup oxygen. Many of the tunnels are actually unexplored, and who knows what lies in wait. Now that’s eerie.
The Washington monument is a landmark that has stood tall for some time. Only a select few know that it actually has a tiny, concealed twin. A 12-foot replica of the monument is buried beside it – it was built in the 1880s to serve as a surveyor’s tool, using it as a scale to verify readings. As time passed and the ground level rose, the mini replica was encased in a tube, buried, and actually forgotten. But a few know about it, and now so do you.
There is a concealed and abandoned island in Disney World. Disney used it as a wildlife observatory, but it was shut down in 1999 as they opened Animal Kingdom and transferred all the animals there. Today, the island is an abandoned overgrown jungle, probably with a few vultures calling it home.
The St. Pancras clock tower, featured in a Harry Potter movie (where he flew over it in a car), actually has a swanky apartment with two bedrooms and high ceilings. But, being literally on top of a train station, it surely is not the best place to sleep in.
There are underground tunnels that criss-cross Los Angeles.They connect government buildings in LA, and are currently used for moving files securely. But during the 1950s and 1960s, criminals were moved from jail to court, through the tunnels. Also in 1960, a billion worth of tax money were transferred via the tunnels to their destination. It was presumed safer than using LA’s streets.
JFK Airport actually has a stunning but unused terminal, just rotting away. It was built in the 60s as TWA’s ultra-modern flight center, and was abandoned when TWA went under in 2001. Here are rumors that there are plans to turn it into a restaurant, museum, conference center, or even a hotel. But so far, nothing is happening, it just keeps decaying.
A few know that the Lincoln Memorial has a cavern filled with dirty graffiti.The memorial is kept up by supporting beams in an underground hall. It seems that the construction workers had decided to “decorate” the area with dirty words and porn doodles. Either that or there is a secret gang that calls the place home.
Another secret is that New York libraries actually had people living in them. Back in the day, janitors had to keep the books warm and dry with coal furnaces maintained 24/7. This meant that the janitors had to be housed on the premises. So, libraries in New York had apartments for janitors, but it has since been abandoned as there seems to be no funding to renovate or fix the dwellings.
Not many people realize that the Supreme Court has a basketball court above the courtroom. It was originally storage space but was turned into a gym and basketball court in the 1940s. John Roberts used to ball with William Rehnquist, and Sandra Day O’Connor organized yoga classes in the gym.
Many are interested as to what is the secret behind the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But not many realize it contains an empty tube with nothing in it, except the massive bell, as it is really a bell tower.
London also has its concealed secrets, one of which is the mini-scale rail network underneath the city. The London Post Office Railway is a miniature underground tunnel system which once upon a time,was utilized to deliver mail around London.
Lastly, there are 3 tiny flagpoles on the Capitol. They are used for the Capitol Flag Program, enabling people to purchase flags flown over the Capitol. Many think the flags are flown on the real flagpole, but unfortunately, they are flown on one of these flagpoles for about 30 seconds, before they are packed and shipped. Maybe now that this secret is out, many tourists will not buy Capitol flags as much as they used to. Sorry about that.