Friday, March 9, 2012

Pinterest and the Deep Ellum Tunnel

Deep Ellum has always been a hotbed of controversy, from its freed slaves roots and criminal background of the 1920s to the Uplift Education debacle earlier this year.

In its late 20th century heyday, Deep Ellum's most beloved icon The Tunnel was a symbol of the edginess of the neighborhood.  Crossing under Central Expressway and going down Good Latimer through the Deep Ellum Tunnel meant you were crossing into another world that wasn't exactly safe and certainly not welcome to the faint of heart.

South side of the Tunnel
The walls were decorated with murals, another sign that you were entering into a place unique to Dallas.  It's understandable, then, that when DART announced it's taking the Tunnel in the name of urban redevelopment and public transportation, people were up in arms.

Like the aforementioned Uplift situation, decisions were made higher up, and the people didn't have a say in what was happening in their neighborhood.  Next thing you know, construction begins and the Tunnel is gone.
North side of Tunnel and tons of rebar
I prepared a photo essay a few years ago to retell this story, but there was never a convenient platform to show the pictures.  Then Pinterest happened and the Uplift controversy happened, and the time felt right to tell the story once more.  For more pictures, visit the DEOM Pinterest board dedicated to the evolution of Good Latimer.

I also failed to keep the photographers' names handy, so if I used your work, let me know and I'll credit you.

In the end, the only living piece of the Deep Ellum Tunnel resides across the street from the DART station, not far from where it used to stand.  It's now a stump that the Traveling Man leans against.

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