In 1947, the 158 acres of land that make up Cameron Village were purchased by J. W. York and R. A. Bryan. Their company, York Properties, owned the land until 1964, when the property was sold to Brookmont Corporation in the Dutch Antilles. York Properties still managed the area after they sold it.
The 20,000 square feet space was originally constructed as a bomb shelter during the Cold War. It was planned to be used not only as a place for citizens to go during an attack, but also for the federal government to recuperate.
Many Cameron Village shoppers are unaware that the Village Subway even existed, but before its closing in 1984, it was full of life and entertainment, hosting many artists that are still popular today as well as many smaller acts.
The Village Subway was modeled after Underground Atlanta, a similar entertainment and shopping complex, which is still in use today. Both locations have a similar mix of restaurants, clubs, and boutiques.
The name "Village Subway" came from its New York City-like subway entrance with a long stairwell that led to paintings of trains. There was also rectangular paintings of shops that decorated the walls.