Shelter: No More

This screenshot from the TV series Spenser: For Hire shows an exterior Fallout Shelter sign on the outside of a residential building at 96 Beacon Street in Boston. This shot came from Season 1, Episode 22 (“Hell Hath No Fury”) and was taken as Spenser (played by Robert Urich) turns from Beacon Street on to Arlington Street.

The building is still there today, but the sign is long gone.


The sign marks are still very prominent to the left of the entrance door. It is unknown when the sign was removed but it was well before the mid 1990s.

Spenser ran three seasons from 1985 to 1988 and was filmed almost entirely on location in Boston.

© 2020 Fallout Five Zero

Footage from Spenser: For Hire owned by Warner Brothers Television

Exterior photos taken and owned by Fallout Five Zero

A man, a sign, and no train

 

An unidentified man is seen sitting under a Fallout Shelter sign at Boylston Street Station in this undated photo by contributor Richard Sullivan.

Boylston Street was one downtown subway station that had Civil Defense items, including water barrels, which are now dumped at the end of an abandoned tunnel.

Boylston Street was also connected by a passageway to the Little Building, located at Boylston and Tremont Streets, which was also marked as a shelter. The passageway no longer exists.

© 2020 Fallout Five Zero

Photo taken and owned by Richard Sullivan. Special thanks to him for sending this and giving us permission to use it. 

 

 

 

A sign seen at a solemn time


People are seen walking past a Fallout Shelter sign at 3 Park Street in Boston, just down from the Massachusetts State House, on April 5, 1968. These people had been engaged in demonstrations taken place after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr in Memphis, Tennessee the day prior.

The building, which appeared to have been a bank when this was taken, still stands but the sign is gone.

© 2020 Fallout Five Zero

AP Photo taken by J. Walter Green on April 5, 1968. 

Love is in the air, refuge is underground

 

This photo in the Boston Globe, taken by Boston Globe staff photographer Ellis Herwig on March 18, 1970 shows a couple walking by (or perhaps parting ways) outside the entrance to Arlington Station on Arlington Street. While the majority of downtown stations were marked (and some stocked) as shelters, this is the first photo I’ve seen of signage on Arlington Station.

This entrance still exists today at the southwest corner of Arlington and Boylston Streets. The former tony jeweler Shreve, Crump, and Low was once across the street but moved to Newbury Street in 2012.

No caption was with the photo, but one wonders if they had different ideas of where to go.

© 2020 Fallout Five Zero

Image taken by Ellis Herwig on March 18, 1970 and owned by Boston Globe.

The Celtics In 7, The Shelter in 62 or 63

The above photo, submitted by our lead correspondent Tim, is an screenshot from the CBS Sports coverage of Game 5 of the Celtics-Lakers series of the 1984 NBA Finals. The game took place at the Boston Garden on June 7, 1984 and an interior Fallout Shelter sign can be seen on the upper wall behind the people entering the turnstiles.

The Boston Garden opened in 1928 and closed for good on September 28, 1995. It housed not only the Boston Celtics, but the Boston Bruins and was host to a variety of concerts and shows. I distinctly remember an exterior Fallout Shelter sign on the building facing Causeway Street, but could never find a picture to verify it. This picture shows it was in fact a shelter, although I’m not sure where the shelter area in the arena was.

If anyone has any information on the shelter inside the arena, or photos showing shelter signs, please send them along.

©️2020 Fallout Five Zero

Image from CBS Sports Coverage, June 7, 1984 and owned by Columbia Broadcasting System.

Special thanks to Lead Correspondent Tim for finding and submitting this screenshot.

Out of Town Mini Series: 5 Signs, 4 Cities, and Where is the Shelter?

Our first Out of Town Mini Series comes from our lead correspondent, Tim, who took these photos at different times in 4 different US cities: Buffalo NY, White River Junction VT, Cleveland OH, and Las Vegas NV.

BUFFALO, NY

 

This worse-for-wear sign is on a commercial or mixed-use building and doubles as the address indicator for the building.

CLEVELAND, OH

This sign, located at the rectory and offices of The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Cleveland, shows a capacity of 220+ and appears to have been re-mounted at the top with new screws. The original fasteners remain intact at the bottom, so it’s likely the top of the sign came off the building at some point. This sign remains as of 2019.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT

This Fallout Shelter sign is on the former Post Office in White River Junction, VT (now The Center for Cartoon Studies).

LAS VEGAS, NV

These two Fallout Shelter signs are a bit of a mystery, as they’re on an open-air parking garage for the Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It is unknown but presumed there is an underground level or basement that served as the shelter area; otherwise, it’s odd these would be on this structure as there would be no protection provided for occupants.

© 2020 Fallout Five Zero

Special thanks to Tim for these photos and kicking off our Out of Town Mini Series.

All photos owned by Tim and may not be used or reproduced without express permission. 

Who Knew They Put Up Two in the Same Day

Up until recently, I only knew of one photo of Governor Volpe hanging a Fallout Shelter sign (the first in Massachusetts) at the Massachusetts State House on November 5, 1962.

However, the photo above, found on the National Archives catalog, shows Governor Volpe hanging a second sign on the front of the State House on the same date.

At it’s peak, the Massachusetts State House had at least 6 exterior signs and an unknown amount of interior signs. All exterior and interior signs, including the two the then Governor hung, have since been removed.

For more photo-op (as well as Average Joe) sign hanging photos, visit Bill Geerhart’s Conelrad Adjacent page.

-FFZ

© 2020 Fallout Five Zero

Above photo owned by the National Archives and retrieved on January 19, 2020 at https://catalog.archives.gov/id/75747687

 

File it under “F” for Fallout

A post-holiday stroll in New York City today by FFZ correspondents Tim and Erica showed this weathered but intact exterior Fallout Shelter sign on the Hudson Park branch of the New York Public Library.

Despite announcing a campaign two years ago to remove Fallout Shelter signs from their buildings, New York still has many signs intact throughout the five boroughs.

A welcome sight going into the new year, and new decade.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Fallout Five Zero

©️ 2019 Fallout Five Zero

Images taken and owned by Tim and Erica, FFZ correspondents and used with permission.



In 1962, a bunch of signs were put up brand new

 

A recently discovered photo from the National Archive shows a Fallout Shelter sign being hung at the former Christopher Columbus High School in the North End (now residences) on December 3, 1962.

The photo description says this sign was being hung on the North Bennett Street side of the school, and it has since been removed. However, one sign remains facing Tileston Street 

The two photos below, also from the National Archives, show interior signs hung at the same school and both photos were also dated December 3, 1962. 

 

 

The first photo appears to go into a boiler room or storage area, while the second is in the cafeteria and lists a capacity of 200. All the interior signs are believed to be gone. 

These signs were posted almost a month after the first sign was posted in Massachusetts at the State House.

© 2019 Fallout Five Zero

Exterior photo retrieved from Archive.org on December 3, 2019

First Interior photo retrieved from Archive.org on November 20, 2019

Second interior photo retrieved from Archive.org on December 3, 2019

Modern photos of former Columbus High School taken in November 2019 and property of Fallout Five Zero

A Sign Sits on The Inevitable Chopping Block

This view last Sunday shows one of the buildings of the Whittier Street projects almost completely demolished, and the lone Fallout Shelter sign on the building awaiting it’s fate.

Like many other city owned housing developments, several of the buildings here were designated as shelters. As of today, however, only one building with a sign remains. The rest have been demolished and replaced with new construction.

© 2019 Fallout Five Zero