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Tiles Falling in the Second Street Tunnel

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The iconic tunnel will be closed for maintenance this weekend

Los Angeles’s iconic Second Street Tunnel will be temporarily closing for repair this weekend as some of its signature white tiles have begun falling from the walls. It’s these tiles that have made the tunnel one of the most popular filming locations in the world. It appears among several other prominent LA landmarks in Blade Runner, and has been featured in many other films and countless car commercials. Writing for the LA Times in 2009, auto reviewer Dan Neil called it "the most recognizable city landmark most Americans have never heard of."

City News Service (via My News LA) reports that contractors will be checking the tunnel for loose tiles Saturday and Sunday, replacing them as need be. Completed in 1924, the tunnel is completely lined with the tiles—giving it a distinctive glowing effect by night. As Neil points out, the German-made tile also makes the tunnel an ideal spot for film shoots; the reflective white surface makes the tunnel very easy to light.

The tunnel maintenance should be complete by Monday, but further restoration may be needed down the road. In the meantime, enjoy this (now very dated) Bon Jovi music video which features the tunnel quite extensively.