8 Famous Monuments That Are Hiding Little-Known Secrets
Wait, there's a WHAT behind Mount Rushmore?!
Even though these monuments are extremely well known, they hold secrets that not many people are aware of. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Grand Central Terminal in New York City, there are many famous buildings you know that have secrets you don’t. Read on to learn more about these secrets.
Empire State Building
On the 103rd floor of the Empire State Building in New York, there is a secret observation deck that not a lot of people know about. To access the balcony, you have to take a series of elevators and then a very steep, narrow staircase. The observation deck isn’t open to the public, but many celebrities have been photographed there. For facts about another famous building in New York City, here are 11 fascinating facts about One World Trade Center.
This iconic U.S. landmark has a hidden feature. Behind the head of Abraham Lincoln, there is a secret door. The sculptor who designed Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, wanted the monument to include a written description of the nine most important events in U.S. history. However, his plan was too intricate and he was only approved to work on a Hall of Records (the hidden room). He died before it was completed, but copies of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are on display in the room today. Very few people have actually been able to visit this room, though, because it’s difficult to reach by foot. If you decide to go, here’s your guide to a Mount Rushmore trip.
There is a secret apartment and office at the very top of the Eiffel Tower that has just recently become open to the public. In 1889, Gustave Eiffel, the engineer of this famous Paris landmark, built himself a private apartment and office. It has been restored and has wax models of Gustave, his daughter, and American inventor Thomas Edison on display. This is what 11 famous landmarks look like zoomed out.
Grand Central Terminal
Many people would never guess that Grand Central Terminal has been the home of a tennis court since the 1960s. Vanderbilt Tennis Club is located on the upper levels of the terminal and has one full-sized court, a junior court, and a fitness room. Tennis break before catching the train, anyone? It’s not only tennis players who use tennis balls. Here’s why you should always fly with a tennis ball in your carry-on.
Everyone who has visited the Lincoln Memorial has probably noticed the typo in it, but they likely didn’t spot the hidden door. It leads to the building’s foundation, which basically is another monument on its own. A cave-like structure with concrete pillars and even stalactites can be found underneath the monument after traveling through the door and down several staircases.
Statue of Liberty
There is actually a room in the torch of the Statue of Liberty that showcases breathtaking views of the city. People used to be able to visit that room until 1916 when German agents blew up a nearby pier. The explosion sent debris into the raised arm of Lady Liberty, making the staircase up to the hidden room unsafe. Check out these famous moments in history that never actually happened.
Disney has basically become a famous U.S. landmark over the years. Hardcore Disney fans might think they know all of the secrets of the park, but many haven’t heard of Club 33. This exclusive restaurant is hidden behind an unmarked door in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. If you want to dine here on your next trip to Disneyland, don’t get your hopes up. It costs $25,000 to join the club, plus an annual fee of $12,000.
Only those with a very observant eye will notice the tiny Lilliputian Police Station located in Trafalgar Square in London. During the 1930s, Trafalgar Square was the go-to place for protests, so police hollowed out a lamp post in the square to be an inconspicuous spot for them to watch over the crowd.
- CBS: “Inaccessible New York: Up To The 103rd Floor Of The Empire State Building”
- National Park Service: “Hall of Records”
- Atlas Obscura: “Gustave Eiffel’s Secret Apartment”
- Atlas Obscura: “London’s Lilliputian Police Station”