Underground tunnels offer an escape from the heat

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Thursday, July 13, 2023
Underground tunnels offer an escape from the heat
"A WHOLE OTHER WORLD:" Downtown is home to an intricate system of underground tunnels. Here's what you find once you step inside.

HOUSTON, Texas -- What used to be basements for buildings are now tunnels that connect more than 90 downtown city blocks.

The tunnels are not a secret to people who work downtown, but for some Houstonians the tunnels are a mystery. Keith Rosen is a Houston historian and offers tours of the tunnels.

"People are often disappointed because they are expecting to see the ancient lost city of Houston destroyed by some hurricane," Rosen said. "They find out these are beautiful, air conditioned tunnels with food courts and hundreds of businesses and thousands of people working."

The tunnels are home to a variety of businesses from doctor offices to salons, offering downtown employees and the public a chance to escape the outdoor elements.

Understory, located at the base of the Bank of America tower, is one of the newest community spaces with a food hall.

"There's different activities, it's family friendly, it's office-worker friendly," Kelly Wheeler with Transwestern said. "It's really just a place that we want everyone to feel comfortable and come in and use this space in a way that really creates a community."

You can find a map of the tunnels here.