Man didn't know he lived above a bomb shelter

When Scot Simpson bought his circa 1953 house in Charlottte NC, little did he know that he would find an 8-by-12-foot bunker buried beneath his lawn mower shed.

"The bomb shelter was built about 1960 or 1961", said Earle Heath, who still lives next door. Heath was 12 or 13 back then. "The owner of the house was in the construction business", he said, "and sent workers over to dig the hole and pour the concrete".

That would have been just before the Cuban missile crisis, when many Americans feared nuclear Armageddon.

Simpson would like to get rid of the poured concrete and steel bunker, but doesn't know what's involved in getting rid of it.

Source: Charlotte Observer


Bomb shelter! Cool! Although I do find this comment rather ironic: "... it's hard to imagine Americans were once so paranoid that they built backyard bomb shelters."

Because today we're so trusting and sensible and not at all paranoid? I ... feel I should make some sort of snarky TSA comment here but nothing seems quite adequate ...
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I wonder if a bearded elderly man with brilliantined hair and in tie and jacket with a pipe in his mouth pop up when the lid was opened?
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Oooh, I wouldn't get rid of it! Have it inspected for safety, then use it to store vegetables for winter, or wine, or camp out in it to keep cool in the summer. You couldn't ask for a better tornado shelter, either.
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Considering the new idea that 2012 will be the end of us all...why not refurbish it and wait for the "coming" Apocalypse! :D Besides, I've always wanted an underground shelter...I'd call it my "Fortress of Solitude". Great place to relax and be by myself with books, music, and some movies.
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I would LOVE to have his shelter. Can you say Data Bunker?

As a side note as to how paranoid the nation was during the Cuban Missle Crisis. My Grandfather who lived near Corpus Christi Tx at the time, had his Sea worthy fishing boat refitted with an EXTRA large fuel tank...so he could take the whole family across the Gulf to Mexico. No fool he.
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Why would anyone get rid of a bomb shelter? Unless it had become structurally unsound and was liable to cave in... otherwise it doesn't even take up any space! It'd be a great place to for a playroom or even just to show off.
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As people above posted, there are so many reasons to keep the shelter (assuming it's not an unsound structure and after it is cleaned up a bit).

Heck, you could even rent it out as an apartment! (for like a college kid or someone who couldn't afford a normal apartment). Well, that depends on the plumbing, I guess. heh.

In any case, why get rid of such a neat thing?
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I've got to have a little disgust for people who dismiss people of 50 years ago as excessively paranoid.

It's really easy for us to sit in our cozy desk chairs today and say the whole "nuclear armageddon" scare was silly foolishness. Such dismissiveness ignores the reality of the situation during some very tense moments in the Cold War, though. Both the U.S. and U.S.S.R. had gobs of high yield long range weapons and few effective defenses except pre-emptory strikes or at least full scale retaliation. That was a very risky situation which could very well have resulted in war had less cool-headed people been at the buttons. What if Krushchev had been Stalin for example? It's strikingly easy to judge our ancestors' "irrationality" when we are not living under the same conditions.
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Bomb shelter?
Awesome!
So many uses - den, lair, secret laboratory, hobby room, shag pad, er, bomb shelter...

@ Sid Morrison --
"It’s really easy for us to sit in our cozy desk chairs today and say the whole “nuclear armageddon” scare was silly foolishness."

Actually, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the Nuclear Threat was highly exaggerated by the USAF and US Intelligence communities to justify expenditure on new weapons systems - the 1960's 'missile gap' has long been proven to be a false assertion.
That so many citizens bought into the Threat was as a result of implicit trust the the government was always right and that the Russkies really were snaggle toothed Ogres hell bent on setting the world on fire.

And, to be honest, 'disgusted' is a trifle strong, doncha think..?
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i would love to have a bomb shelter in my backyard. Can you say free storage space? it's even temp controlled. Just build a gazebo over it and have a trap door.

jealous of this guy.
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I don't see why it would have to be removed at all to build a garage. It's 8' under ground and unlikely to interfere with pouring an on-grade slab.

You could always relabel it as a sump well and use it for foundation drainage.
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you can't destroy it, 'cause then the terrorists will win. stay the course Scot.

or maybe remove all the concrete blocks and reuse them for that wall our current crop of paranoid idiots would like to build along the Mexican border.
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The popular opinion seems to be keep it. Piece of American history right there. 'Sides, you never know when something like that might come in handy again. I suppose if it's going to cave in or something he can fill it with dirt.
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Another suggestion: Knock a hole in one of the walls, build a ramp and have an underground garage. Might be a little hard on the clutch backing out, though.
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I have one of these.
Not as useful as everyone thinks, the door is VERY heavy and the one electric socket in it doesn't work so you need candles/flashlights. you also have to go down a ladder so a wine cellar'd be tricky because you'd need some sort of dumb waiter. that's what my roommate wants to do, wine cellar with a dumb waiter, but really it'd be cheaper and easier just to get a little wine refrigerator. plus there are cockroaches down there. I think people used to grow pot down there, there's a box of miracle grow.
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Man i would totally keep that beast. I'd put a fridge, lazy boy, nice tv and tons of beer and just chill down in my bomb shelter. If shit hit the fan....i'd have plenty of beer to get me through lol
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@munky-
When did I ever discuss the veracity of any missle gap? It doesn't take too many missles lobbed in each direction to kill millions of people. The existence or not of a gap was irrelevant. What was there on each side was plenty you cause a whole lot of damage if somebody unstable got an itchy trigger or a rogue element got control or a launch site somewhere. The thought of nuclear war (limited or not) was not a crazy paranoid delusion, especially in October of 1962.
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@ sid morrison

You didn't, and apologies if you were miffed by my bringing up facts relevant to the state of paranoia that existed at the time. Simply put, the nuclear arms race was a direct result of deliberate intelligence manipulation by the USAF - that's where the 'too many' missiles came from. A falsehood created a false perception which lead to/fed the nuclear paranoia of the times.

I'll stop now, because this is sounding too familiar.

Beige alert! Beige alert!
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Why would anyone want to get rid of a bomb shelter? I wish I could afford what was handed to him for nothing. That shelter will save his life one day, guaranteed!

www.warnthepeople.org
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unless it presents a danger, such as collapse, deteriorated steps or interior, ground water flooding, etc. I'd use it for all sorts of stuff. Root cellar, storage, office space, man cave... Armageddon insurance.
If you must get rid of it, the easiest and cheapest way is to back fill it with sand. By doing so, you'll be eliminating a hazard and preserving a pretty cool piece of history.
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if you didnt go and tell the wife thats where you could have stored your massive porn collection,,, damnit looks the attic will have to do
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