Have you ever noticed something off about a building in your neighborhood? No one ever goes in or out, perhaps the windows are painted over–or there aren’t any windows at all? Sure, there could be something creepy going on in there, but it’s also likely that the building isn’t really a building at all. Well, at least not in the way most of us think of buildings! From fancy town homes and storefronts that aren’t, to an entire fake city, click through to check out some of the world’s most fascinating false building facades.
1. 23 & 24 Leinster Gardens, London
The first steam engine underground railroads required open-air vents so that the tunnels didn’t get too clogged with air. But when there needed to be a vent in the middle of an upscale neighborhood, the railroad decided to camouflage it with the facade of a gorgeous townhouse. One thing’s for sure, this fake building is sitting on some mighty valuable real estate!
2. North Tyneside’s Business District, England
Want to revitalize your downtown business district, but can’t find any tenants? Do what the city of North Tyneside did, and put up fake storefronts to attract the real ones.
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3. 58 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York
Usually, the doors of fake buildings are fake, too. But not in this case. In fact, this fake townhouse is actually an emergency exit for the city’s subway system!
4. 640 Millwood, Toronto
For decades, one of Toronto’s electricity companies has placed camouflaged substations across the city’s neighborhoods. They’re designed to look like stately office buildings, mammoth factories, store fronts, British castles, and, yes, typical neighborhood homes. There are at least 300 of these fake buildings throughout the Toronto area.
5. 145 Rue La Fayette, Paris
The French are no strangers to building fake buildings–they did construct an entire fake Paris to fool the Germans during World War II, after all. This facade’s story isn’t nearly as interesting; it covers up a metro chimney from the street.
6. Kijong-dong, North Korea
This isn’t just one measly fake building — it’s an entire fake town. Built within the demilitarized zone acting as a buffer between North and South Korea, the North Korean government’s official story is that the town is home to 200 families. However, as outsiders have observed, the town is uninhabited and is little more than large scale propaganda aiming to encourage South Koreans to defect to the north.