Like any other city, Brooklyn has one of its secrets hidden in a townhouse. What appears to be a perfect brickwork on house number 58, Joralemon Street, is actually full of mystery. The house has been uninhabited for over 100 years. Number 58 is a subway exit masqueraded as a Greek Revival brownstone. It also serves a s a ventilation point. It is believed that number 58 was set aside to be an emergency exit post 9/11. Amidst fears of a possible fire threats in the subway, the exit was made available to provide a safe evacuation route from the subway to the streets of New York City.
The town house is above the New York City’s subway connecting Brooklyn with Manhattan Island. Reportedly, men in work suits have been spotted around number 58. The house was acquired by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 1908. Its acquisition was well timed during the construction of an underwater subway tunnel linking Manhattan and Brooklyn. Neighbors know the subway exit as ‘The Shaft House’. To make the townhouse appear homely, MTA revamped the backyard and leases out at $200 per month. In 1999, MTA was advised by locals and the Landmark Preservation Commission to refurbish the townhouse. Classy opaque window panes replaced the previous steel shutter vents. The vents were relocated to the rooftop. House number 58 has a current market value of $2.8 million.