I downloaded this photo from my favourite resource site on silos: www.siloworld.com. It’s of one of the sites surrounding Schilling AFB depicting the Security Lock at the base of the entrance stair. I’ve used this photo because it’s exactly how mine looked when I first arrived; yes, water and all. As I mentioned before,these sites were built to a template design, and so many silos then had to be retrofitted with sumps, pumps, and waterproofing membranes to prevent what you see above.
This valve is located at the base of the stair, but I’ve never been able to find out what it was for. Maybe someone can solve the mystery.
After passing through the Entrapment Vestibule, this is what you see when you step out onto the stair landing connecting both levels of the Launch Control Center. Fortunately, the salvagers left my handrail intact. The opening is to the top level of the LCC.
Top level of the LCC. I must admit I couldn’t help but clean this up before I took my first photo of it.
This area was used mostly for rest and recreation.The level contains the AC room, kitchen, bathroom,and janitor’s closet. The vaulted column in the center was for structural support.The air cylinder you can see at the far end supplied the four pneumatic rams that suspended the LCC off the outer concrete walls, just in case the unthinkable should happen.The lights above were also suspended for the same reason, and believe it or not, when we connected the power, they worked!
The LCC looking back towards the stairwell. Bathroom through the door on the right. To my surprise, everything in the bathroom was still intact, but I just couldn’t bring myself to photographing it. Errrr
This is one of the four pneumatic rams I was talking about. After doing some clean-up work on them, I thought: why not try, they just might work. We hauled down a compressor, connected a hose, and BINGO! It DID! We quickly connected the other three, and they too worked. It was one of those days when things just happened. However, most electric compressors can only do 140psi, but these things need up to 400 - 500 psi to lift the LCC off the floor, so I thought: what about a cylinder of compressed air? They have about 2000psi, but alas, nobody helping me out was going to have a bar of it. CHICKENS! Does anyone reading this have any thoughts on this?
This too is one of my favourite relics: The Emergency Escape Hatch. Connected to a concrete tube that leads directly to the surface, it was originally filled with sand, and so when released during an emergency, the sand would drop to the floor, a ladder was hooked up, and all were free to climb out. Well, soon after the silo was decommissioned, someone did pull the release cord, and after forty or so years, it turned to solid rock! I still have RSI after digging it out.
Ah yes, the kitchen. How I would have loved to restore this classic beauty from the ‘60s, and would have done so, had I the cash. Shame.
One more nasty pic of the upper level before we head down stairs. This is the doorway through to the Heating room. You can also see part of the ladder to the Emergency Escape Hatch.