An aluminum sign on a granite building in the Granite State

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.

© 2021 Fallout Five Zero

Above photos taken in October 2020 and owned by Fallout Five Zero

Not a bus terminal, but close enough

 

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.

© 2020 Fallout Five Zero

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

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.

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

 

Not even Hollywood could save it; A famous fallout shelter sign goes dark

The building above is the New York County Supreme Court, located at 60 Centre Street in Manhattan, in an area known as Foley Square.

If you’re an aficionado of law or court shows, the building should be familiar, as it appears in multiple shows and movies. IMDb lists 60 Centre Street as a filming location in 24 separate movies/shows, the most prominent (and current) being Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Both of these photos were taken in March 2005 and show a Fallout Shelter sign on the front of the building

As mentioned in other posts, Fallout Shelter signs often appear in the background of shows and movies (CONELRAD – All Things Atomic has an excellent and unparalleled archive of such sightings).

The above sign has appeared in Trading Places (1983), in a blurry news image photo used in the movie

Although screenshots have not yet been located, the sign has also appeared in multiple episodes of Law and Order: SVU and potentially many other movies and shows

The sign was still up as recently as December 2017 as this Google Maps screenshot shows

However, a visit to the actual site in June 2019 shows that the sign has been removed

New York started a campaign in December 2017 to remove Fallout Shelter signs; however, this was mostly done at school buildings.

It appears other buildings are now affected. In addition to 60 Centre Street, another state building down the block at 80 Centre Street also had evidence of recently removed signs.

It was disappointing to see this sign gone, as based on the prominence of this building on both TV and in actual court cases, this was likely one of (if not the most) famous Fallout Shelter sign in America.

Have any other tips on shows or movies this sign appeared in? Let us know here.

© 2019 Fallout Five Zero

March 2005 and June 2019 images of 60 Centre Street taken and owned by Fallout Five Zero

Screenshot taken from Trading Places (1983), a Paramount Pictures film 

Google image owned by Google and retrieved on June 14, 2019 from Google Maps