If you think your city could have a secret lair below ground fit for a mega-villain, well, you’re getting close. There's a system of underground tunnels in Dallas called the Dallas Pedestrian Network, it was a project spearheaded by an international city planner, Vincent Ponte, in the late 1960s. The intention was to create a system where your average employee could show up to work, eat lunch, attend a Maverick’s game, and have a late-night dinner all without ever seeing the light of day.
The architect wanted to help workers escape the sweltering Texas summer heat and enjoy the convenience of modern-day life in the comforts of air-conditioning while relieving downtown congestion at the street level.
And that it did. The reality was that these tunnels took a lot of the street traffic away and ultimately made Dallas appear like an abandoned ghost town. But “ghostly” and uninviting wasn’t exactly the look the city was going for.
It's primarily considered a fail from recent city leaders including Laura Miller, Mayor of Dallas in 2004, who reportedly joked about bringing in a dump truck and “filling the tunnel entrances up with concrete,” according to The Dallas Morning News.
The tunnels, as they're known by locals, connect over 36 city blocks and extend to over two miles underneath the heart of Dallas.
These half-mysterious, half-creepy tunnels connect major landmarks such as the Winspear Opera House, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas World Aquarium, and the Dallas Farmers Market.
The underground tunnels and sky bridges are home to restaurants, boutiques, dry cleaners, florists, drugstores, dental offices, coffee bars, and much more.
The entrances are hidden in plain sight. Some aren’t even marked so you kind of have to know what you’re looking for!
The major entrances are located at Thanks-Giving Square, Renaissance Tower, One Main Place and Bank of America Plaza.
Add this to your local adventures bucket list. When you explore this underground city, you just might find yourself some hidden treasure.
Dallas Pedestrian Network
Address: Under the heart of Dallas
Why You Need To Go: To explore a mostly-unknown underground culture.