Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in America, was founded in 1635. The first school building was on School Street in Boston (a plaque marks the site). It moved to it’s current location on Avenue Louis Pasteur in 1921.
Like many of the other Boston Public School buildings, it was marked as a public Fallout Shelter. The first two photos above excerpted from the 1964 Liber Actorum. which is Boston Latin’s yearbook, and presumably taken around the same time. The third photo was taken from the 1979 edition.
It is unknown if this was the same sign, but the school had an addition added in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, and it (or they) were likely removed at that point, as publications of Liber Actorum from the mid-1990’s no longer showed them.
The picture below of the Boston Latin football team is from the 1969 Liber Actorum and shows the exterior sign on the front of the building, which based on photographic evidence was removed by 1990.
The building also had numerous interior Fallout Shelter signs on the first floor, in the interior stairs, and in the basement. Three such signs existed in 1995, and all were removed within the next 6 years.
Pictures below show two different signs from the 1979 Liber Actorum
Another picture from the 1984 Liber Actorum shows an interior sign on the first floor hallway next to the stairs
A listing of shelters in Roxbury (which is the area this school is considered to be in) shows the shelter capacity for Boston Latin at 1,006.
English High School, which has been Latin’s football rival for decades, was once housed across the street from Latin in the former High School of Commerce and was also designated as a shelter. The photo above, taken by Richard Sullivan in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s from the roof of Latin, shows the then English High with the shelter sign to the right of the door.
A new English High School was built in the 1970’s in a high rise (which still sits across from the current Boston Latin and is now owned by Harvard Medical School) and was not marked as a shelter. English High later moved to Jamaica Plain.
Several other editions of Liber Actorum show signs in the hallways, and by physical and photographic evidence, it was likely that 7 or more interior signs existed when the school was designated as a shelter. One FFZ contributor even shared that Civil Defense water barrels became classroom trash bins at Boston Latin in the 1980’s.
As the phrase goes, Tempus Fugit, and no signs remain at Boston’s oldest and most renowned public school.
© 2019 Fallout Five Zero
© 2020 Fallout Five Zero (Edited April 28, 2020)
All photographs above excerpted from editions of Liber Actorum and accessed through archive.org at https://archive.org/details/bostonlatinschool
Photo of English High School taken and owned by Richard Sullivan and used with permission. Thank you to Mr. Sullivan for taking and use of the photo.