What are those holes by the ESP?

ESP holes in the ground


Joe emails (with the above photo):

Re: The Mystery Hole at Empire State Plaza
I figured you guys might know - I can't even speculate as to what the hell this structure is and its always puzzled me. The view is looking east over the side of ESP near the egg. Why are the walls so high? What in the blue blazes is this thing??

We've wondered about those holes, too. (You can see them very clearly in satellite photos.) And we had some guesses.

But to get the word straight from the source, we contacted the New York State Office of General Services, which runs the ESP.

Here's the answer from Heather Groll, a spokesperson for the OGS:

There are 2 "tubes." The smaller one is for [air] intake and the larger is for exhaust. They serve the ventilation system for the ESP GARAGE. The high walls are a safety feature, and they also provide an architectural/sculptural interest.

So, in other words, the holes are the ESP parking garage's nostrils.

By the way: based on a rough estimate from satellite photos, the larger hole is about 50 feet across, and the smaller about 38 feet wide.


And you're SURE it isn't an underground helipad or missile silo? Thanks AOA.

I've always thought those tubes lead to the Morlocks' underground lair. In a way, they kind of do the same thing.

Any other fans of HG Wells' The Time Machine out there?

To be honest, I never thought anything of it, what with The Egg and all.

When I was little, I thought those were more than a little terrifying.

I always wondered what those were. Thanks!

I'm surprised that with all of the explosion heavy movies that have been filmed in Albany that they didn't have some wicked CGI fire coming out of those.

Note that there's been no denial of the claim that one or both tubes contain a sarlacc, much like the one that almost ate Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi.

Did you know if you jump off the plaza into the exhaust vent that the force of the air will blow you back up?!

looks like a quidditch pitch to me....

Clearly those are some kind of portals to another dimension, one less boring than Albany.

That's why everyone goes to the South Mall to commit suicide in a last desperate attempt to launch themselves through the portals.

Feel free to include this information for "stuff to do this weekend".

I have been in the bottom of those holes - you won't get sucked in or blown out. But it is kind of creepy in a Mad Max Thunderdome, post-apocalyptic kind of way.

((I have some photos, but am not sure how to post))

Karin - go to imgur.com. Its super easy. Post a set and provide a link!

"So, in other words, the holes are the ESP parking garage's nostrils."

I love you, AOA.

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