The tunnels were made primarily for office workers. It is so that they can get from office building to office building, as well as to parking garages. In the midst of the Dallas Summer it can be way too HOT to walk comfortably outside and conversely, Jan/Feb can get too horribly cold.
The network contains an underground city of shops, restaurants and offices during weekday business hours. To enter the tunnels, there are specific entry points that are marked by a kind of pyramid shape. And yes, because the tunnels are only mainly open during the workweek.
How did it all get started?
Comprising three miles of tunnels and sky bridges, the Dallas Pedestrian Network was the brainchild of urban planner Vincent Ponte. Starting in 1969, his plan influenced development in Dallas throughout the 1970s and 80s by including underground tunnels and passageways for residents and visitors to get around downtown without suffering from rain or extreme Texas heat. In the 90s, the tunnels were blamed for the significant loss of foot traffic and, ultimately, the economic downturn of many stores and businesses on the street level of downtown Dallas.
The tunnels also connect to hotels underground. The tunnels range from brick walls and white columns, to beautifully decorated walls full of artwork.
So many different entrances
The most common entrances are at ThanksGiving Square, Renaissance Tower, One Main Place and Bank of America Plaza, though they can be a bit hard to find as most buildings won’t have signs. In most cases, entrances can be found by taking the elevator to the garage or looking for a set of stairs that goes down past the street level.
In addition to the underground tunnels, there are also skywalks. Functionally, these tunnels operate the same as their counterparts. What’s nice though is that you get to see views of the city.
Speaking of up high and down low, here’s one special insider Dallas secret: the Sky Lobby.
Looming over a large part of Dallas is the Chase Tower. Though it is not the tallest skyscraper in Dallas, it does have a major presence and has a unique design. If you look up the tower, there is a point where there is a large keyhole in the structure. And that is exactly where the sky lobby resides.
Want to see an up close look? Watch this video and then plan a trip to downtown Dallas for your own exploration.