A long-closed pedestrian tunnel under North Figueroa Street (aka Route 66) in Los Angeles will reopen Saturday night as an art gallery.
According to The Eastsider LA, the idea came from Antigua Cultural Coffee House owner Yancey Quinones, who enjoyed walking through the tunnel as a child. The tunnel, however, later was closed by the city because of gang activity.
The newspaper said:
“It’s going to be the community’s tunnel, safe, secure,” Quinones says pointing to newly installed LED lights and freshly painted walls of the tunnel at Figueroa and Loreto Street near Nightengale Middle School. […]
“Like a snail, it’s going to take time, but eventually we’ll get there,” he says a few days before the tunnel gallery’s debut as part of NELA’s art walk on Saturday. The tunnel will remain open only for shows and exhibits. […]
The tunnel will open on Saturday, May 11 at 6 p.m. with a show of work by local artist Jose Ramirez, whose band will also be playing in the tunnel. Quinones hopes to see the underground gallery used monthly.
Quinones has tried to reopen the tunnel since starting his coffeehouse in 2007. His persistence — along with a $9,000 grant — will make his quest a reality.
It’s hard to find anything new under the sun on Route 66. However, Quinones shows that even novel ideas can happen on the old Mother Road.
(Hat tip: Scott Piotrowski)