Secret Brooklyn Heights Subway Exit Exposed (Sorta)

The Brooklyn Eagle and the Associated Press ran a story today about how the NYPD is protecting the subway system from terrorists. It mentions a super-secret subway exit disguised as a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights. They don’t reveal the location but the piece claims many Heights residents know where this mysterious exit is located.

Brooklyn Eagle: Brooklyn Heights, in fact, is home to many secret emergency stairways leading to track lines that climb from under the East River to stations in Brooklyn. These emergency exits are sealed, unmarked and rarely, if ever used.

Since Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn are where many lines converge before fanning out to the rest of the borough.

Located in the tunnel just east of the river, the exit disguised as a brownstone leads to a grimy-lit set of metal stairs that ascend past utility boxes and ventilation shafts into a windowless room with a door. If you opened the door, you would find yourself on a stoop, which is just part of the façade.

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  • Flashlight Worthy

    This is very likely referring to the brownstone on the south side of Joralemon between Hicks and Willow Place. It’s gone painted over windows and huge steel doors.

  • Claude Scales

    Likely correct, FW. I had it down to Joralemon west of Hicks by the reference to a “cobblestone street” (actually Belgian blocks, for those who care about such things). Also, Joralemon is right above the 4/5 train tunnels.

  • matt h

    Definitely. There were service & nypd folks going in and out (and guarding) the big black door during the recent subway explosion incident.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Oh no, not Belgian Blocks Again. I remember way back when being ridiculed over my term that brownstones and cobblestones go together like….

    Brownstones and belgian blocks doesn’t sound right. I’m sticking to cobblestones, sorry.

  • hm

    fwiw, several years ago i looked at an apartment in that particular brownstone you all are referencing. as of then, it was a definitely a residential building. although, i probably would have taken the unit if i’d know there was an awesome super secret trap door to the subway….

  • Homer Fink

    Clearly a matter of public record:

  • Billy Reno

    I found a Clark St. exit that goes to Narnia..

  • Kevin P.

    It’s not just Brooklyn Heights residents who know about this building; railfans do as well.

  • Flashlight Worthy


    We’re not talking about the same building. The one I refer to definitely does NOT have any apartments for rent in it — the door is bolted shut with a massive MTA lock and when it’s open, there’s a massive industrial fan inside — no living space of ANY kind.

  • hm

    ah, memory, you tricky thing – flashlight worthy, yes, i stand corrected. was not that building. oops.

  • justme

    now everyone knows about it, great. More work for our Homeland Security.