. T........ _~c..PIM-Q
It takes nerve to venture Into this passage under the Phlltower Building downtown
A PERKIER TUNNEL _ zips from
the basement of the Cities Service BuildIng
into the bottom of the parking garage
next door. II's just about long enough to
park a car.
The idea of most tunnels is fo connect
working places to parking plo.ces.
The tunnel from the Williams Center
Parking lot to the 320 South Boston
Building is cited as 8 selling point to
prospective tenants, said Brett Hall of
the Williams Realty Co. "We try to get
the word out," he said.
But, while there has been DO count
taken of tunnelers, he said, the tunnel
is not used as mucb as it could
Tulsa's population of downtown moles
Is something less than a herd.
The mole rat is II solitary animal.
money: right in front of the vault room
of the Bank or Oklahoma center at 320 S.
Street level inside the bank is just
10 steps and an escalator later. Dlg-.
nified financial going~ns go on there
under high ornate ceilings. Just out of
sight from the bank lobby, down the
escalator and around a corner, Is a
snack stand sellina: "Eerie," "Cracked"
and "True Secreu" magarines.
Do a mole-stroll past the snack stand,
down the hallway to the Third Street
entrance to the bullding, and there is
another stairway down. A fitness club Is
located down there for people who land
wheezing at the bottom of the stairs.
THE TUNNEL continues under Third
Street, emerging to the sight of lots
of chrome in the higb-rent parking garage
under the WilliaDl.S Center, from
wbere a mole-in-the-know can scrabble
into the Williams Plata Hotel. A walkway
over Second Street connects the
hotel to tbe top floor of the Williams
Center Forum shopping center.
And there you hav(. it: all the way
from Fourth Street and Cincinnati Avenue
Into the Forum shopping center
about five blocks away without once setting
foot on a sidewalk.
THE SPOOKIEST TUNNEL _ leads
in echos and shadows from the basement
of the Philtower Building, under Filth
Street into the Amoco Building. The
walls are patched and mottled; the tile
floor cracks under your feet. The arcbed
ceiling, not much more than head high,
gets a candle-lit catacomb effect from a
couple of struggling lightbulbs. The twoInch-
thick doors at the Philtower end _
sure enough - creak. The doors at the
other end of the tunnel are locked. Almost
nobody goes down there anymore,
possibly for fear of bumping into Vincent
A city wiih connections
between," he said.
THE LEAST TUNNEL OF ALL _
Starts in the northwest comer of the
bank tower. Twenty-eight steps down, a
dink of a hallway leads outside Into a
courtyard, the "in between" Graham
was talldng about. A covered walkway
connects to another set of doors on the
west side of the courtyard. The doors
open into a hallway that runs past the
oUiees of the Tulsa Parldng Authority
and an empty office labeled "prime
space available" - not the best-known
spot of real estate In Tulsa. Main Park
Plua is just a few shovel lengths
Tunneling out of the parldng garage Is
easier. The door is marked "tunnel"
with a big sign.
THE MOST TUNNEL - Is really
three tunnels in one. Dig?
Start at the 88 Auto Park, 117 E.
Fourth St., where a sign boasUng "all·
weather comfort" marks the way down.
You don't bave to park there to funnel
About a haIr block welt, there Is •
side tunnel. Spiral up the wlodin, ,t.Ir,
at the end of It, and break tbrou,h at
street level Inside the Kennedy
But that Is just the first stop. The
main tunnel goes on past the Kennedy
building turnoff, dipping under Boston
Avenue from an entranceway edged
with mirrors, giving the place a touch of
mobile home elegance. It winds up in the r:WELCOME TO D~
- Collier'. Encllclopedia
"A aoliunv animal, the mole rot lives
alone in a network of underground
By RON WOLFE
I N OKLAHOMA CITY, it is possible
to Icurry into a network of tunnels
downtown and SC:8n-ely ever ha\'e to
come out in the open and really look at
People like It that way.
Above ground, the empty sidewalks
are left to ecbo the question, "Where is
In Tulsa, \here are tunnels, too. The
difference i. that a lot of people don't
know about the Wlderground.
Tulsa's underground has connections.
It connects here and there downtown
with blocks and blocks of tunnels. safe
from the trallie. dry in the rain, just the
place for dropping out of slihl.
"There an tunnela that go back 50
years in downtown Tulsa,.. said John
Graham, president of the Fifth and Boston
Corp., real estate subsidiary of the
First National Bank.
Graham, 10M .uppoae. he mU4t have
tDOlked e~ tvnnel there u at one time
or another, rw7tU. cq Tullo " "Ieoat tunRei
of aU" the one that burrow' from the
Firat National Bank at IS E. Fifth St. to
the Main Park Plaza parkinQ garage a
block west. "What we realltl have is
two elld$ of a tUllnel with no tunnel in
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Central Library Local History Collection: Tunnels [vertical file]