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20th Century Castles

November 14, 2006

A buddy emailed me that he’d been keeping up with my progress on “moving into the castle”, and it made me think about some of my influences early in the project, specifically cast reinforced concrete.  During the cold war, the US built a succession of hardened underground missile silos, control centers, communication vaults, and anti-missile system facilities as part of the strategic air command.  Some of the earlier facilities were decommissioned and sat abandoned for years, and are now available for sale.   Here is a website that outlines some of the properties that are available for sale, and their general locations.  Many are surprisingly affordable.  Several years before I began my home construction, another friend had put me onto this site and I was fascinated by the legacy left in the ground from this period of history.  I followed all of the links and saw the tour via pictures from a fellow that had visited one of these former installations – I got chills.   I’m fascinated by the engineering, the history, and the prospect that you could actually own and live in one of these facilities.   The remote locations, sheer cost of revitalization, and lack of general social acceptance by others practically dissuaded me from pursuing one of my own.   The majority of the newer silos from later programs are either still in place or were imploded as part of the SALT I and II disarmament agreements from the 70’s and 80’s.  So, the properties available are finite and could increase in value.   Probably not a ‘sure thing’ investment by any means.  After all, not that many people want to live like Bat Man.   Still, for those with the means, and desire to take daily refuge from the dramas of the world, one of these 20th century castles could be just the thing.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Garry permalink
    November 15, 2006 8:35 am

    Mark,

    On viewing some of these properties I’d say your living would be more like a Moleman! But it would surely be very quite if city living has gotten to you.

  2. November 15, 2006 10:49 pm

    Upon more research, there are a whole host of properties all accross the country in various stages. There are the old Atlas and Titan sites I mentioned here, plus numerous Nike anti aircraft sites, and more communications and radar facilities. The 50’s and 60’s cold war and all the relics are interesting – some just going out of existance as part of the final stages of disarmament. There was a story in about 2002 of the scrapping of much of our B52 fleet and the equivalent on the soviet side. Both sides cut up their planes and left the pieces out for inspection by the other side’s satelites before being hauled off by private sector scrap metal recyclers. I also note that there is a whole sub-culture of explorers that go to these sites illicitly or otherwise to for adventure. With a little searching their are dozens of write ups complete with pictures. Really wild stuff.

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