Viktor_Gladkov/Getty Images
Viktor_Gladkov/Getty Images
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Here is a fascinating fact about Grand Rapids. There are some secret underground tunnels in our city.

Yes, actual tunnels, not as many as there used to be, but still usable and some not so much.

GRAND RAPIDS DOWNTOWN SKYWALK

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Google Street View
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We all know the Skywalk system downtown that connects DeVos Place to the Van Andel Arena, it's above ground, but how many know about our tunnels?

Reddit.com/grand rapids had an interesting discussion regarding the tunnels and mines under our city.

GYPSUM MINES TODAY

Gypsum Mines/facebook/burly mermaid
Gypsum Mines/facebook/burly mermaid
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Many of us are aware of the Gypsum mines deep under Grand Rapids. Schools would take field trips into the mines fascinating the kids with stories of the old miners.

GYPSUM MINES IN EARLY 1900s

Grand Rapids Public Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum
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The mines were created in 1898, 100 feet under the bed of the Grand River, with the gypsum mined out and converted to plaster to be shipped all over the world, the Grand Rapids Historical Commission wrote.

However, the gypsum mines tunnels are only part of the tunnel story.

DeVOS PLACE AND PERFORMANCE HALL

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Google Street View
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There is a tunnel behind DeVos Place Convention Center. David Random on Reddit said 17-years ago he was in that tunnel. They didn't go too far but what an experience. It connects DeVos Place to the Performance Hall.

GRAND RAPIDS/KENT COUNTY ADMINSTRATION

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Google Street View
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There is a secret tunnel from City Hall/Kent County building complex said SirWarm6963 on Reddit. I don't believe it is open to the public but it connects the parking ramp to City Hall and the County building and the Kent County Court House.

McKAY TOWER/ROSA PARKS CIRCLE

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Google Street View
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I remember old tunnels from the McKay Tower, downtown, to other buildings. With the rebuilding of Monroe Center and now Rosa Parks Circle, many were filled in.

Most of these tunnels carried steam pipes for heating of downtown buildings, so I would assume that since many building still use the steam system, the old secret tunnels still exist.

Wouldn't it be fascinating the take a tunnel tour sometime? Maybe scary!

 

MORE: Some Fun Photos From Michigan's Past

 

 

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