The cab, the sign, and the sIren

From the desk of our assistant editor Tim comes this screenshot from a WGBH Archives clip of Hyde Park from 1979. Pictured is Boston Police Station 5 (now E-18) on Hyde Park Avenue. On top of the station is one of several Federal Signal air raid sirens that used to be on top of buildings throughout the city.

To the left of the left entrance door is a Fallout Shelter sign, and passing the station is a Checker brand White Cab, which before ridesharing used to be the only hired mode of transportation in cities across the US outside of limos and livery cars.

This photo, taken by Daniel White in February 1980, shows a clearer picture of former Station 5, sans cab.

The cab, the sign, and the siren. All gone today.

©️ 2022 Fallout Five Zero

Screenshot from WGBH Archives, September 1979

Special thanks to Tim for finding and providing the WGBH screenshot and to Daniel White for permission to use his photo

4 thoughts on “The cab, the sign, and the sIren

  1. Thank you. Am wishing I had my own personal fallout shelter right about now. My cat and I could hide away for a fortnight if needed. Living in a flat makes it impossible for me. I do have the signage though, and some decals. 🙂

  2. Hi, I’ve been a follower/reader for a while. Now, given current events (March 2022), though we are in emotional denial, experts are saying there is a returned nuclear threat under the Russian regime that we haven’t seen since the Cold War. I live in Boston. You’ve been reporting on old Cold War shelters. I want to know where Current bomb shelters are that will actually be open. We see the peaceful citizens in the Ukraine huddling in shelters so it comes to mind that we should at least Know where the closest one is to us. I’m disabled/sick. I need to plan in advance in precise detail things that I used to take for granted. Knowing where I’d be going in the unlikely event is part of that. When I call the city and the state they have no clue. Could you address this or at least point me in the right direction. The Governor’s office was like “that’s not a concern” and sort of scoffed. At the same time experts, experts on Russia, say it’s a legit concern that it could escalate. Yes it’s very unlike but What is wrong with being prepared/ I wonder if the state is at all prepared or will it be chaos? Do you know anything or could you point me in the right direction? I see how it is evacuating cities in the Ukraine. I physically couldn’t do it. I have to stay. No basement. I need to know where to go just in case. Responsible planner here.

    1. Hello, thank you for your interest in the site and for your comment. Unfortunately, the places you have already tried are the places I would also have pointed you to. This website is dedicated to the history of the public Fallout Shelter and civil defense, both of which are now memories that I report on and try to educate people about. In terms of current bomb or fallout shelters, the federal government no longer has an official public shelter program, and any former shelter locations may have been repurposed or changed so they no longer offer the same protection they once did.

      The two places I encourage you to look would be at (, as they provide tips on sheltering during both bomb attacks and nuclear attacks, and the Boston Office of Emergency Management ( Their website has contact information and also provides a list of emergency shelters the city has, although it lists these more for weather emergencies. They may be able to provide you information as to whether these would be open in the event of an attack,

      1. THank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I know you focus on history, but thought perhaps you might have come across what’s going on simply by interacting with people in the know. The sources infuriatingly say “follow governmental officials who will direct you”. Yes, right. Either they will be as clueless as I am, or the information does exist and they are prepared. If the latter, why do they defacto keep us in the dark. So I think the former. They want us to be prepared and tie our hands, it feels like to me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s