Let's See Those Unforgettable Infrastructures

In every city, town, or countryside exists a piece of infrastructure that may now be defunct, but is unforgettable. These roads, bridges, railways, and other commodities were once considered the future, now they remain as historical artifacts and an ode to past memories.

(Image: Xuan Nguyen/Public Domain)

Deep under Naples around 280 miles of tunnels traverse the city. Constructed by the Greeks, the tunnels were later utilized by the Romans to help construct an aqueduct system. Take a short drive down Constitution Ave., in Washington D.C., and you’ll come across a seemingly out of place stone cabin amidst the bustle of the city. The home was used by the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Lockkeeper during the mid-19th-century to collect canal fares and aid ships. If you happen to be strolling along the beaches of Sidi Ifni, Morocco, you’re sure to see what looks like a factory nestled in the middle of the ocean. These abandoned sea cable cars were used to ferry passengers and goods between the shallow Moroccan shore and ships. These are just a few examples of the unforgettable infrastructures that exist across the globe. Now we’d love to see a piece of infrastructure that’s etched into your memory!

In the thread below, tell us about some of your favorite examples of unforgettable infrastructure. Where is it located, and what was it used for? How’d you discover it? What’s the history behind its creation and defunctness? Be sure to include any pictures you might have as well, and drop in your Instagram handle. Your response and photo may be included in an upcoming round-up article on Atlas Obscura.


WWII watchtower, south of half moon bay, ca


Whoaaa! too cool, thanks for sharing and being the first !


Is it me, or does it look like a half-buried AT-AT (Imperial Walker)?


That’s exactly what I was thinking, too!


I think this is Devil’s Slide Bunker just North of Half Moon Bay and South of Pacifica. They closed off a mile long section of Highway 1 (blasted 2 tunnels through the mountain) and added parking with access to the bunker side or to the paved upward loop around the mountain. Great place to view whale migration.


Buntzen Lake Power Plant, Deep Cove/Howe Sound, British Columbia
The Buntzen Lake hydroelectric plant started providing the City of Vancouver with power in 1903. Depending on the source, it was designed by Francis Rattenbury, the architect who designed Victoria BC’s Parliament buildings and Empress Hotel or by Robert Lyon. After nearly 100 years, it still produces inexpensive power, although less than only 0.4% of the power generated by BC Hydro facilities.

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The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has laid out plans to build the world’s first floating underwater tunnels - approximately 30 km (18.6 miles) long, with the deepest point of 392 m (1286 feet) beneath the sea level, making it the longest and the deepest sub-sea road-tunnel in the world, connecting Stavanger and Bergen in western Norway. The project is expected to be completed by 2023, at the projected cost of almost $2 billion.

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