Underground passageways hold the power to excite--especially when they're hidden underneath a busy city soaked in sunshine. News reports have explored the miles of pedestrian tunnels still buried beneath the civic center. Action films and car commercials often feature images of automobiles speeding through the Second and Third Street tunnels.
Other tunnels in downtown Los Angeles, including L.A.'s first subway, were landmarks for decades but are no longer open for exploration or exploitation.
Built early in the twentieth century and shuttered near the century's midway point, these tunnels were made necessary by simple fact of physical geography: a palisade of hills separated L.A.'s historic core from the upstart suburbs to the west.