Freedom Tunnel, Painted

Published on: December 2nd, 2010 | Last updated: December 15, 2015 Written by:


…so Gothamist today picked up the story that anyone with their ear in the underground has known for a few months now: Amtrak has painted over much of the freedom tunnel.

The rumor is janet Nazipolatino road through the tunnel on Amtrak one day and was appalled at all the graffiti down there. Thus, someone threw a huge pile of cash at Amtrak to paint and ‘better secure’ freedom tunnel.

With this new monumental act of state sponsored vandalism, NYC lost a huge amount of priceless art. The works of art in freedom tunnel ran the gauntlet of graffiti, and included everything from a dizzying array of throwys by FE to a 20×30 foot reproduction of Goya’s ‘3rd of May’ by Freedom and Smith. Many of these were priceless works, some created nearly 25 years ago.

There is absolutely no good reason for this state-sponsored whitewash to have occurred. The tunnel is out of public view so no civilians ever complained about it. To paint over the entire tunnel surely cost taxpayers a huge amount of money. Think about it: 2 walls, running along 2 miles of tunnel, 12-14 feet high. how many gallons of paint was wasted on this project? How many man hours at union wages were wasted on this utterly ridiculous endeavor? What is the total cost to taxpayers for this completely pointless destruction? How many hundreds of thousands of dollars were thrown at this? Money that could have been used to feed the poor, bail out the MTA to keep subway fares down, aid in the construction of the 2nd avenue tunnel… there are dozens of more important projects around NYC that all this time and cash could have been better used on.

This isn’t the first time that Amtrak has tried to ‘secure’ and clean up freedom tunnel. Several times in the 1990s they evicted homeless people and sealed up entrances to the tunnel. Those entrances were always broken open again, or new ones were created. Many of the homeless moved right back into the tunnel and never left. The tunnel is simply too big to ever be completely secured, and this new creation of miles of clean wall space is just a brand new canvas which will be retaken by graffiti artists in time.

Meanwhile, all of the exits to this tunnel are chained shut and locked with ‘102’ high security locks. If a train were to derail and burn in the tunnel, there is no escape. NYPD and FDNY do not have 102 keys. They would have to wait on amtrak to show up to get access to the tunnel, and by the time that happened, dozens, potentially hundreds, would be dead.

Way to go Amtrak and Federal ‘security’ morons. You succeeded in throwing away more taxpayer money while not making this tunnel one bit safer for the public. I for one am completely disgusted by your useless idiotic actions, and you can be damn sure you won’t be getting one red penny out of me on tax day next year.

8 responses to “Freedom Tunnel, Painted”

  1. yer says:

    nice job cunts

  2. Shane says:

    Actually… The 3rd of May piece is still sort of intact. It wasn’t painted over by Amtrak like the rest of that section of the tunnel, but water damage and general weathering to the paint are slowly destroying it. It’s pretty faded and lookin pretty rough, but it’s all natural damage at this point. They did bulldoze and clear out all the debris in front of it though. What a damn waste of money and time that could have been put to actually making things better for the public.

  3. Control says:

    Ah, thanks for the update. It’s been taking a hit from the elements for quite awhile now. I assume what’s left won’t last long.

    I wonder if they’ll waste money placing motion sensors in the exits and nonsense like that.

    Whatever happens, I’m 150% sure the tunnel will revert back to normal over the next few years. The MTA can’t maintain their security system, and Amtrak doesn’t have enough money to maintain what they have now, let alone adding a layer of security systems that have proven ineffective in other tunnels.

  4. damnYouBuff! says:

    and it looks like the buff spread up to hell’s gate, by the tollbooths for the triboro. lots of sandblasting. but someone bit back already…

  5. Dart says:

    yo most of the murals are good though but they buffed up so much

  6. Ratboy says:

    Damn…

  7. Dan says:

    I had to search this when I saw that the murals were painted over. What pisses me off is that it was Freedom’s which were hidden from view (of all the people!). Amtrak is pissing out money on the wrong things.

  8. Control says:

    Yeah i went down there recently just to get a few shots of the paint-over. it’s truly disgusting. Though i have to say, at least people have been going in there putting in good work on some of the painted over walls. I saw like 5 people walking through while i was in there, so all that new fencing and crap they put up certainly hasn’t stopped anyone from getting in.

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  • About The Author

    Bad Guy Joe

    Bad Guy Joe
    Bad Guy Joe knows more about the NYC underground than anyone else on or below the surface of this planet. He has spent nearly 30 years sneaking into NYC's more forbidden locations. When not underground, he's probably bitching about politicians or building something digital. 
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