For those of us who are interested in urban exploration, the legend of the abandoned Cincinnati subway system is a familiar one. While we’ve written about it here before, this series of photos offers a fresh perspective on the lost transit system that could have been.
This particular adventurer explored near what would have become the Race Street Station.
Construction on the Cincinnati subway began back in 1916, and it was largely inspired by New York City’s famous underground tunnels.
At the time, Cincinnati was growing at a rapid rate, and traffic congestion was beginning to take a toll on the local economy.
It was actually one of many cities that commissioned feasibility studies for a subway system. However, Cincinnati was the only city to actually begin construction afterward.
When they broke ground in 1916, the city was optimistic that the subway system would change things for the better.
Sadly, World War I forced the project to be put on hold, with construction resuming in the early 1920s.
However, the enthusiasm for the subway had been lost in the interim. Local officials began looking for ways to kill the project.
They eventually succeeded in doing so, and work on the subway system was abandoned in 1925. Officially, the reason behind the shutdown was a lack of funding.
This decision would seal the fate of traffic congestion in Cincinnati, and it’s a problem that still plagues the city today.
Most of the tunnels still exist and are in surprisingly good shape. Although the system’s closed to the public, some historical organizations, such as the Cincinnati Museum, occasionally offer tours.
While it’s heartbreaking that this amazing subway system was never brought to life, it does provide people with some awesome urban exploration opportunities today.