Oops! Scratch that. Hidden in plain sight...
At 08:22 AM 7/6/2013, you wrote:
>Going underground: Extensive Cold War-era bomb
>shelters dot the valley | Las Vegas CityLife
>Ever wonder why basements are rare in Southern
>Nevada, while theyâ€™re fairly common in other parts of the country?
>Most are quick to point to the stubborn caliche
>sedentary rock concentrated in local soil, but
>thatâ€™s only part of it. The other reason, says
>Courtney Mooney, historian with the city of Las
>Vegas, is that the water table in Las Vegas is
>high, and subterranean structures often flood.
>Itâ€™s why there arenâ€™t many underground
>parking lots in Las Vegas; theyâ€™re just too problematic.
>Still, the impracticality of building below
>earth didnâ€™t discourage anyone from doing so
>during the Cold War scare in the 1940s and
>1950s. Clark County Heritage Museum
>Administrator Mark Hall-Patton guesses there
>were 70 or so designated shelters in the valley,
>an estimate he gathers from pins on an old
>bomb-shelter map. â€œThe overall idea was that
>we could have enough space for everyone in the valley,â€ he says.
>Many shelters were designated casino basements,
>others were homes, abandoned mines, bridges such
>as the Charleston Underpass and at least one
>bunker that was built specifically as a fallout shelter.
>Arden Civil Defense shelter is the best known
>and only existing bunker today, says Deputy Fire
>Chief Emergency Manager Fernandez Leary, though
>itâ€™s been â€œmothballedâ€ and is out of
>service. Learly says there were likely others in
>the valley, but nobody seems to recall where.
>Hall-Patton describes the shelter, which is
>located in Arden, off of Blue Diamond Road, as
>â€œa hole in the ground lined with railroad
>ties.â€ It was meant as a headquarters for
>local officials to meet in the event of an attack.
>Surprisingly, the shelter was only dismantled 15
>or so years ago, says Hall-Patton, whose museum received some of the supplies.
>In the case of a Soviet attack, locals planned
>to flock to casinos for safety. Most casinos had shelters, Hall-Patton says.
>Dennis McBride, director of the Nevada State
>Museum, says the shelters remained stocked into
>the â€™70s and even â€™80s. In 1995, the Sands
>casino was cleared out, and the museum received
>a sanitation kit, dated 1962, that included gloves and a commode toilet seat.
>Mooney says Golden Gate Casino, the oldest
>surviving hotel-casino property in Las Vegas,
>was designed with a basement that serves as an
>underground shelter with tunnels that still
>exist today. â€œAnd who knows where the tunnels go,â€ she says.
>McBride, who grew up in Boulder City, laughs
>when he thinks about the townâ€™s emergency plan
>— particularly a little known, largely fllawed
>protocol. In the event of an attack, people were
>supposed to drive to Hoover Dam, to hide out inside the dam structure.
>â€œYou look at it now and think, how
>ridiculous,â€ McBride says. â€œSix thousand
>people trying to get down into the dam with the
>mushroom cloud in the background.â€
>Perhaps the most famous is the expansive
>underground home at Flamingo Road and Spencer
>Street, a luxurious,
>several-thousand-square-foot dwelling built by
>businessman Girard Henderson. The house rests
>below a normal-looking home, and features a hot
>tub, sauna, pool, putting green and guest house.
>Even â€œoutdoorâ€ lights change to mimic dawn, daytime and dusk.
>In addition to Hendersonâ€™s lavish shelter,
>modest households also built small bunkers.
>Lindy DeMunbrun of the Clark County Heritage
>Museum and McBride recall a house on Avenue A in
>Boulder City that had a backyard bunker. McBride
>says it was a concrete locker with a concrete
>dome roof, furnished with camp beds and stocked
>with foods like beef jerky and canned milk.
>DeMunbrun describes it as resembling â€œbig corrugated pipes with a lid.â€
>Mooney says she knows of three or four
>underground shelters in the John S. Park
>neighborhood, dug in the late 1940s and early â€™50s.
>MINES AND RAILROAD TUNNELS
>Abandoned mines were commonly stocked with
>supplies in case of a nuclear attack. One was
>located in Blue Diamond, and was only cleared
>out about a decade ago. Some supplies are on
>display at the county and state museums. Nevada
>State Museum has an old first-aid kit.
>Hall-Patton says mines today are likely still
>loaded with forgotten supplies. â€œTheyâ€™re old
>supplies, not things youâ€™d want to be using,â€ he says.
>Railroad tunnels overlooking the lake and
>underground tunnels made by engineering companies were also potential shelters.
>â€œWhen the Cold War came they just assumed
>theyâ€™d be great shelters,â€ McBride says. â€œYou have to laugh.â€
>Boulder City maintains disaster shelters in
>various public buildings, such as the recreation
>center, multipurpose room and Boulder Creek Golf
>Course. â€œIt depends on whatâ€™s happening,â€ says Fire Chief Chuck Gebhart.
>In Clark County, Leary says, â€œshelter in
>placeâ€ is the new standard. If a bomb dropped
>on Las Vegas, those who survived the initial
>blast should remain in structures that arenâ€™t
>damaged or blown over. But not all homes are
>created equal, Leary says. Single-story,
>single-family stucco homes with no basements are
>the least safe; concrete-fortified buildings or
>multistory homes with basements are ideal.
>The link contains a photo the underground house on Spencer Street
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