Georgetown Tunnels

Georgetown University houses a series of underground tunnels that go between buildings of the school and into downtown Washington, DC. There are many theories as to why these tunnels are built.

There are some who insist that the tunnels are merely used for heat pipes from newer to older buildings on campus. This makes sense, as the school was founded in 1789 and houses some very antiquated buildings.

There are others that suggest that the tunnels were part of an underground railroad. During the Civil War, Georgetown was used as a hospital to house both Northern and Southern soldiers. In fact, the colors of Georgetown, blue and grey, are said to represent both the union and confederate sides. It would make a lot of sense that any underground railroad from the South would want to end up at least at Washington, DC, the capital of the Union and a place where slavery was illegal.

A third, more popular theory is based on Georgetown’s capacity as the backup Congress (where Congress would conduct its meetings should anything happen to the capitol). Should any attack on the country’s capital happen, many members of the executive and legislative branch would be rushed into the tunnel system as an escape route from the attack. As such, many of the most important politicians in the world, including the President himself, would have traveled through the tunnels that lead directly underneath the university’s campus. The tunnels, in this theory, were escape routes and bunkers for politicians and important Jesuits, as well as a meeting place for very important secret meetings.

Though many of the tunnels are now said to be boarded up at the ends (thus would not lead to downtown Washington), the student body at Georgetown has long been fascinated by the importance of the tunnels and where they can lead to. The adventurous students search the school looking for entrances to the tunnels, hoping to travel through them to see where they may lead. There are rumors of many entrances to the tunnels, but the most popular of them seem to be from Healy Hall.

There are doors on the side of the building that are always open, and lead directly into a maze of tunnels. Upon entering, you will see a lot of secret society type drawings on the wall. The tunnels from Healy seem to end at a broiler and contain heat pipes all along the way, which lends credence to the theory about heat pipes. Though other tunnel entrances are said to go much further into the city, the farthest I have heard of someone traveling is 3 blocks from the main gates of campus.