Are You Fooled by These Facades?

Are You Fooled by These Facades?

When thinking of the subway in New York, the Underground in London, or the Metro in Paris, one word encompasses all of these transit stations: unsightly. They are infamously known for their graffiti, overflowing trash bins, and their universal smell of musty air. What they are not well known for is their ventilation system and the houses that cover it up. In this article we uncover the facades that exist in New York, London, & Paris with the purpose of hiding the unsightly infrastructure that is necessary for the transit systems to function. 

New York - Brooklyn Heights

If you pass by this housing complex located at 58 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights, you'll likely notice that one town house isn't like the others. The tinted black windows and fake brownstone wall make it stand out.  The appearance however, isn't the only reason why this town house is different than the others. The real reason is because this facade is hiding a subway ventilator and an emergency exit.

23-24_Leinster_Gardens,_the_-fake_house-_-_geograph.org.uk_-_49276.jpg

London - Bayswater

Prior to 1863 two five-storey townhouses used to occupy the space. Their demise came when the need for subterranean tracks to pass for the underground arose.  The now 5 ft-thick facade located at 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens was built by Victorians to cover up the Metropolitan Railway line.  The fake houses that stand now incorporated a lot of elements from the surrounding buildings such as decorative balconies and neo-classical columns. Aside from the grey painted windows and fake doors, this facade is more difficult to distinguish upon first glance.

image © Google Maps

image © Google Maps

Paris - 10th Arrondissement

When a house is dark it usually means no one is home and with this townhouse located in the 10th arrondissement of Paris on rue la Fayette, there hasn't been anyone home - ever. While the architect was meticulous with adding details to the facade like the cast iron balconies and real door, there is something jarring about the blacked out windows. According to the blogger behind Paris by Cellphone, 'The building is only a front. Literally. The balcony is there, the door is there, but no building waits behind it. The false facade is there only to hide a giant ventilation chimney for the metro."


Are there any other facades that you know of? Share them with us in the comments below. 

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