Free Expression Tunnel – Raleigh, North Carolina - Atlas Obscura

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Free Expression Tunnel

In a pedestrian tunnel on North Carolina State’s campus resides an expressive and artistic free-for-all. 


Connecting North Carolina State University’s north and central campuses is a local landmark dedicated to art and expression. In November 1967, the student council allowed students to paint art and messages in one of the pedestrian tunnels running under the train tracks that divide the campus. This would come to be known as the Free Expression Tunnel by students.

Students and others are constantly repainting the tunnel and retaining walls at the exit with art, memorials, political slogans, and messages supporting Wolfpack sports teams.

The tunnel is constantly changing as anyone can come and paint, so the walls are always being painted over. There are very few rules in keeping with the “Free Expression” moniker, but this had led to some controversy in the past.

Know Before You Go

The tunnel is located on NC State's campus but is open to all. 

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