When the Sixth Avenue elevated train was torn down in the 1930s, 38th street lost its subway stop. To partially make up for it, a 38th Street exit was included in the pedestrian tunnel that was built along Sixth Avenue from 34th Street to 42nd Street. Generations of New Yorkers used the pedestrian tunnel to get out of the rain and cold, but after some horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s, this tunnel and others like it were closed in 1991. You can see the tunnel, dark and deserted at night, in this 1991 video taken shortly before it was closed for good.
The tunnel is closed to pedestrians, but is still used for access and storage for the MTA. And while the pedestrian entrance has been paved and grated over, access to the stairs still remains for occasional use by the MTA. If the light is on in the tunnel in the evening, you can still see down the stairs and into the long-disused tunnel. If you zoom in on the image you will clearly see the stairs with a length of yellow caution tape going down them.
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