The Tunnels

Demystifying Carleton’s Subterranean History

The tunnels beneath Carleton College first opened for pedestrian use in 1917 and closed permanently in 1989. They were not just a place to get between classes during cold winters, but also a place of cultural significance where students were able to express their interests and artistic talents. Since their closure, the tunnels have been largely kept secret — visits are heavily restricted, and there are no publicly available maps. Much information about the tunnels is not fully digitized. In an effort to make knowledge about the tunnels more accessible, this project documents the many events that were significant to the development and closure of the tunnels, as well as their cultural impact while they were open and their current uses. You can learn more about our process and sources here.