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It opened in 1907, but the London Underground’s Down Street tube station was so underutilized that in 1932, it was shut down. When World War II rolled around, however, the abandoned station was repurposed to protect Prime Minister Winston Churchill while the Nazis bombed London.
The historic site is being reopened as an exhibit for the London Transport Museum later this year, giving the station a new lease on life.
The Down Street tube station opened in Mayfair, West London, in 1907. It was on the Piccadilly line between the Dover Street station (now Green Park) and Hyde Park Corner.
Because Down Street was so close to neighboring stops, it was rarely used. London Underground officials decided to close it in 1932.
In 1939, the tube station was selected to be part of a shelter program for when Nazis attacked the city.
The platform was split up into offices. After that, telephone capabilities were added, along with a lift, an emergency staircase, and even toilets.
The bunker was intended to house the Railway Executive Committee, but it was also used by Winston Churchill and his war cabinet while the official Cabinet War Rooms were being secured.
Churchill called it “The Barn.”
On May 7 of this year, the London Transport Museum will start conducting tours of the facility as part of their new “Hidden London” series, which also features the Euston tube station and the London Underground’s former headquarters.
Interested in walking the tunnels that kept Churchill safe? You can buy tickets for the exhibit starting April 20, 2016. London is full of great attractions, and this one seems like it’ll be a hit!