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A view of Downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset. Image via MusikAnimal/Wikimedia Commons

Downtown Brooklyn is a commercial and cultural hub as well as a residential neighborhood, but it also harbors a number of unexpected secrets. On its way to becoming the cosmopolitan mecca it is today, the neighborhood experienced a chaotic history that can still be found written in its streets and floating around in the air.

For more, check out Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young and Augustin Pasquet’s Secret Brooklyn, on sale now, and read on to discover the secrets and stories of the crux of Brooklyn.

10. The Brooklyn Detention Complex

Downtown Brooklyn might mostly be a pleasant residential and cultural hub, but it is also home to a functioning prison. Located at 275 Atlantic Avenue, the Brooklyn Detention Complex can hold up to 815 male inmates.

Its origins stem from the depths of the seedy tangle that is New York City bureaucracy. Built in the 1950s, the prison closed in 2003, but to fund its renovation, ex-city comptroller Bill Thompson allegedly cut a deal with City Hall, approving a $34 million renovation project. In exchange, the city dropped the lawsuit that had been raised against him. Once adequately funded, the prison reopened in 2012. Some prisons are physical and others are capital. This detention complex is both.

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