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.
An exterior Fallout Shelter sign is seen on the United States Post Office Building in Littleton, New Hampshire this past fall.
The weathered sign shows a capacity of 355. New Hampshire’s first Fallout Shelter sign was posted in Concord in 1962, and shelters were more prominent in some of the larger cities like Concord and Manchester. There were, however, shelters in various places throughout the state.
In typical Hollywood fashion, one location can easily double for another, and a Fallout Shelter sign in the background does not care where it’s actually supposed to be.
This screenshot from Spenser: For Hire, Season 2, Episode 15 shows an exterior Fallout Shelter sign on the outside of 150 Causeway Street, which when this was filmed was the former Boston Garden. This arena was connected in some fashion with North Station, but neither had a bus terminal, so some artistic license was used in the shot.
This building was closed in 1995 and demolished in 1998, but it’s memory lives on in Boston sports legend and modern day streaming services.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.