IF today wasn’t Buy Nothing Day — and IF I happened to have a spare $8million burning a hole in my pocket — I’d be really tempted to buy this.
This is one full mile of tunnels and rooms directly under central London. It is being sold by British Telecom who inherited the property. As the New York Times reports:
The tunnels were built in 1940 during the blitz, when Britain came under sustained air attacks from Nazi Germany. The government decided to create eight underground bomb shelters in London, as the city’s subway stations were not big enough to accommodate all those seeking refuge. But the BT tunnels, and one other, were never used by the public because the government needed them for its own operations. The BT tunnels soon became a temporary base for troops before D-Day while another tunnel was turned into the European headquarters of Gen. Eisenhower. In 1944, the tunnels became a base from which the Allies helped resistance movements in Nazi-occupied countries. Members of the secret service, in offices equipped with telephones and teleprinters hidden beneath the war-torn streets, helped coordinate as many as 10,000 men and women gathering support against the Nazi regime across Europe.
After the war, the tunnel network became an important operations center for the company once known as British Telecommunications. In recent years, though, BT has used the space mostly for storage … Appearing more like the set of a James Bond movie than prime real estate, the complex still has a bar and two canteens, not in use, and a billiard room, not to mention functioning water and electricity supplies.
There are a couple of issues that need to be dealt with …
The air is dry, hot and stale. The constant rattling of London Underground trains rushing through a separate tunnel system a few feet above and the sound of giant ventilation fans make the tunnels a noisy environment.
Baffleboard, that’s what they need. A few truck loads of baffleboard to muzzle the noise. Then it could be a really neat downtown hideaway. Now, about that $8 million ….