Inside the Icon: La Casa del Túnel

What was once a prominent local lawyer’s iconic flatiron house against the border wall in the 1950s became the entrance to a narco tunnel leading to a manhole in a San Ysidro parking lot, just 150 feet away. In 2004, authorities discovered and sealed the passageway, and the house remained vacant until 2008, when it was converted into an art center named, appropriately, La Casa del Túnel.

Now headed by Makeda Dread of San Diego’s WorldBeat Cultural Center, it houses a gallery, community garden, and a rooftop café and performance space, with a unique bird’s-eye view of both sides of the busiest land border crossing in the world.

Getting there:

After exiting customs, walk south and head west at the first footbridge until Avenida de la Amistad. Turn right and walk five blocks until the border wall, turn left, and walk one more block until Chapo Márquez.

Open for special events and by appointment; Chapo Márquez 133, Colonia Empleados Federales, Tijuana

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