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Action News takes you under downtown Jacksonville

Reported by: Mark Spain
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Updated: 5/16/2013 6:35 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Action News takes you under the streets of downtown Jacksonville, where a series of tunnels help connect buildings.

Gary Sass, of AdLib Luxury Tours in Jacksonville, tells Action News the tunnels once belonged to banks that set up operations downtown after the great fire of 1901.

That fire wiped out 2,300 buildings, left nearly 10,000 people homeless and destroyed the majority of downtown.

The city rebuilt, and banks built passageways underground.

The tunnels not only connected banks, but also housed great, ornate vaults.  Some of those remain standing today.

"There's a security system. Everything here has two combination locks to it, because it always took two people to open up. Those two people wouldn't know each others' combinations," Sass says.

Safe deposit boxes provided wealthy clients a place to store their valuables, underground.

Today, the main commerce in the tunnels is Benny's sandwich shop, which is using an old bank vault for its home.

Some of the tunnels have not withstood the passage of years, While others are maintained by building owners, with help from AdLib Tours.
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