This beautiful unused subway could soon reopen to the public

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Crystal Palace Subway in London
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This beautiful unused subway could soon reopen to the public
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Volunteer Jules Hussey (not pictured) unlocks the gate to the Grade II listed Victorian Crystal Palace Subway that is hidden under the A212 road at Crystal Palace on March 23, 2016 in London, England. 'Friends of Crystal Palace Subway' volunteer group are working to reinstate safe pedestrian access to the subway in early summer 2016 for guided tours and community and arts activities. Dating from 1865 it original served as a subway between the High Level station and Crystal Palace until a fire that destroyed the palace in 1936. Since it has been used as a second world war air raid shelter, music video for Chemical Brothers 'Setting Sun' filming and is currently on the English Heritage 'at risk register'. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: The Grade II listed Victorian Crystal Palace Subway that is hidden under the A212 road at Crystal Palace on March 23, 2016 in London, England. 'Friends of Crystal Palace Subway' volunteer group are working to restore the subway to open to the public in early summer 2016 for guided tours and community and arts activities. Dating from 1865 it original served as a subway between the High Level station and Crystal Palace until a fire that destroyed the palace in 1936. Since it has been used as a second world war air raid shelter, music video for Chemical Brothers 'Setting Sun' filming and is currently on the English Heritage 'at risk register'. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: The Grade II listed Victorian Crystal Palace Subway that is hidden under the A212 road at Crystal Palace on March 23, 2016 in London, England. 'Friends of Crystal Palace Subway' volunteer group are working to restore the subway to open to the public in early summer 2016 for guided tours and community and arts activities. Dating from 1865 it original served as a subway between the High Level station and Crystal Palace until a fire that destroyed the palace in 1936. Since it has been used as a second world war air raid shelter, music video for Chemical Brothers 'Setting Sun' filming and is currently on the English Heritage 'at risk register'. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Magnificent subway built by Italian craftsmen resembling a vaulted crypt. Part of the Crystal Palace High Level Railway system demolished in 1961.
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: The Grade II listed Victorian Crystal Palace Subway that is hidden under the A212 road at Crystal Palace on March 23, 2016 in London, England. 'Friends of Crystal Palace Subway' volunteer group are working to restore the subway to open to the public in early summer 2016 for guided tours and community and arts activities. Dating from 1865 it original served as a subway between the High Level station and Crystal Palace until a fire that destroyed the palace in 1936. Since it has been used as a second world war air raid shelter, music video for Chemical Brothers 'Setting Sun' filming and is currently on the English Heritage 'at risk register'. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: The ceiling of the Grade II listed Victorian Crystal Palace Subway that is hidden under the A212 road at Crystal Palace on March 23, 2016 in London, England. 'Friends of Crystal Palace Subway' volunteer group are working to restore the subway to open to the public in early summer 2016 for guided tours and community and arts activities. Dating from 1865 it original served as a subway between the High Level station and Crystal Palace until a fire that destroyed the palace in 1936. Since it has been used as a second world war air raid shelter, music video for Chemical Brothers 'Setting Sun' filming and is currently on the English Heritage 'at risk register'. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: A man walks past a wall and over the top of the Grade II listed Victorian Crystal Palace Subway that is hidden under the A212 road at Crystal Palace on March 23, 2016 in London, England. 'Friends of Crystal Palace Subway' volunteer group are working to reinstate safe pedestrian access to the subway in early summer 2016 for guided tours and community and arts activities. Dating from 1865 it original served as a subway between the High Level station and Crystal Palace until a fire that destroyed the palace in 1936. Since it has been used as a second world war air raid shelter, music video for Chemical Brothers 'Setting Sun' filming and is currently on the English Heritage 'at risk register'. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Volunteer Jules Hussey stands in the entrance to the Grade II listed Victorian Crystal Palace Subway that is hidden under the A212 road at Crystal Palace on March 23, 2016 in London, England. 'Friends of Crystal Palace Subway' volunteer group are working to restore the subway to open to the public in early summer 2016 for guided tours and community and arts activities. Dating from 1865 it original served as a subway between the High Level station and Crystal Palace until a fire that destroyed the palace in 1936. Since it has been used as a second world war air raid shelter, music video for Chemical Brothers 'Setting Sun' filming and is currently on the English Heritage 'at risk register'. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Plate from the Illustrated London News. The original, �low level� station at Crystal Palace was constructed in 1854, but between then and 1884, attendances averaged two million visitors a year and as a result , another �high level� railway station was constructed by the London, Chatham & Dover Railway on Crystal Palace Parade, connected to the Crystal Palace by a brick-built subway. The new line, from Peckham Rye, was opened on 1 August 1865. Services were suspended during both wars and the line beyond the junction at Nunhead was closed in 1954, but the subway still exists beneath the Parade, nationally listed as Grade II. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
'Entrance into the tunnel of the pneumatic railway between London and Sydenham. The Crystal Palace pneumatic railway (also known as the Crystal Palace atmospheric railway) was constructed near Crystal Palace Park in South London c.1864. Woodcut engraving from my archive, published in 1877.'
'Vintage engraving from 1862 showing a large crowd of people trying to make their way home using the train, after a day out at Crystal Palace, London, England'
UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 07: Plate from the Illustrated London News (Vol 67/1 p 632). 'Section of the Thames Embankment, showing (1) The Subway, (2) The Low level sewer, (3) The Metropolitan Railway, and (4) The Pheumatic Railway' intended to link Charing Cross and Waterloo. This is one of several plans for the Thames Embankment, drawn up by Sir Joseph Bazalgette (1819-91). The tunnels were intended to improve the drainage of London as well as to provide services such as water, mains, gas pipes and telegraph cables. The pheumatic or atmospheric railway, based on George Medway�s 1810 idea, was revived in 1860 by the Pheumatic Despatch Company and demonstrated at the Crystal Palace exhibition of 1864. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
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LONDON -- A hidden Victorian gem of London could reopen to the public this year, thanks to the hard work of the community that cares about it.

The splendid Crystal Palace subway was built 150 years ago, and its story is as colourful and turbulent as that of London itself. The Friends of the Crystal Palace Subway group has raised enough money to safely restore access to it, and eventually wants to turn it into a cultural events space.

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It was built as a walkway from the High Line train station in south London to the Crystal Palace, the beautiful glass structure that housed the Great Exhibition of 1851. But the subway began its descent into obsolescencewhen Crystal Palace was destroyed in a fire in 1936.

It found use in World War II as a particularly splendid air raid shelter. But High Line train station was demolished in 1961, isolating the subway. It became a venue for "Subway Superdays" -- cultural and educational days -- in the '70s, and eventually illegal raves in '90s. Later, it was used in the Chemical Brothers' "Setting Sun" music video (It's clearly visible around the 2:35 mark).

The rave in the Chemical Brothers video.
Image: astralwerks/YouTube

Since then, the subway has been closed because of safety concerns, and visitors are only allowed once a year during London Open House days. There's always a huge demand for bookings to see it -- last year 900 places "sold out" in three hours.

Friends of the Crystal Palace Subway have secured planning permission to get back pedestrian access.

The group's treasurer, Jules Hussey, told the Evening Standard: "We really want more people to be able to enjoy it as it's a stunning site and we want to show its value.

"It's the community that have really got behind this project and who are working really hard to get the site open again."

The group is still seeking donations to pay for work on the subway via their GoFundMe page.

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Learn more in the video below:

Crystal Palace In London Is To Be Reopened To Public

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