Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.
Building contractor Robert Beryle regarded the 762-foot Broadway tunnel, excavated in 1901 through Fort Moore Hill, as his masterpiece. Another crew was building the 1,045-foot 3rd Street tunnel at the same time and an informal competition developed between the two to see which would be finished first.
In 1949, the city decided to remove Fort Moore Hill, where another Beryle building, Los Angeles High School, was located, as well as the Broadway tunnel.
Beryle died Oct. 17, 1949, at the age of 90, a few days before the arch, all that was left of the Broadway tunnel, was pulled down. In his final days, Beryle often told his family stories about the tunnel’s construction, so they kept the secret that it had been destroyed.
In 1948, The Times’ list of tunnels included:
- The Newhall tunnel, completed by the Southern Pacific in 1876 and excavated by Chinese laborers.
- The Hill Street tunnel, built by Pacific Electric in 1913.
- The 2nd Street tunnel, 1924.
- Pacific Electric Subway, 1925.
- Tunnel linking Vermont and Western Avenues in Griffith Park, 1928.
- Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel, 1930.
- Figueroa tunnels on the Arroyo Seco Parkway, 1931-1936.
- Tunnel beneath Crenshaw Center department stores, c. 1948.