Monday, March 12, 2007

Those Silly Urban Fallout Shelters

Strolling downtown Springfield the other day, I stopped to check out the fallout shelter signs on the East Columbus Avenue side of Symphony Hall. Two of the shelters had an occupancy capacity of 1290 lucky persons. A third had a capacity of 145 (pictured below).

Across the street, an old bunker-like building had a fallout shelter sign that I had often looked at in passing but never closely examined. It's partially covered with vines, now-a-days. Unfortunately, it only has room for a mere 30 people.

I wondered if the shelters were even still functional. I doubt it. They'd be useless in a direct hit, of course, but I'm thinking the city planners were probably considering a Soviet strike on Westover Air Force Base, circa the 1960s. They could also be useful in the event of a so-called "dirty bomb" attack. They'd be neat, too, as secret getaways for city officials having affairs. That was probably their more likely use down through the years. Oh well. If anyone knows of their current status, feel free to post a comment here.

I checked out the Wikipedia page on fallout shelters, which apparently has been hacked into by someone with English language problems. Or a silly practical joker.

My only other memories of bomb shelters were the ones around our military bases in Germany, oh-so many years ago, and also the Happy Days episode (#16) where Mr. Cunningham wanted to build one. Funny stuff!

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Missing Persons in New England



At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Mark T. Alamed said...

I'm all set...Got my duct tape and roll of plastic...Instant fallout shelter ala 2001! ;-)


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