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  #1  
Old 05-14-2005, 12:01 AM
NotSleepy NotSleepy is offline
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Nike Missile Base Locations

For those of you familiar with the northern suburbs of Chicago, the 330 acre triangle of land bordered by Lake-Cook Road, Quentin Road, and Rand Road (Route 12). was once a Nike Missile Base. This area has since been divided and developed. As with many of the other Nike bases, the expense of removing the structures is too great. So when you go the basement to get toner for your office printer, don't be surprised to see 24 inch thick blast doors on the janitors closet.

If you know of other former Nike locations, please post them.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/050513.html
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2005, 12:20 AM
NotSleepy NotSleepy is offline
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Nike Missile Bases in the Chicago Area

Nike Missile Base C-84

The Army designated Chicago as Priority No 3 for Nike Ajax installations, following Washington, D.C., and New York.71 Prior to the construction of Nike bases to defend the Chicago area, antiaircraft artillery battalions, armed with 120mm and 90mm guns, were already present in and around Chicago. In April 1954, the Army Corps of Engineers advertised construction contracts for the first Nike bases in the Chicago area: C-93 (near Skokie), C-45 (Gary, Indiana), and C-51 (Alsip). Nike Missile Bases C-03 (Belmont Harbor), C-41 (Jackson Park), C-40 (Burnham Park), C-61 (Lemont), C-44 (Wolf Lake), C-80 (Arlington Heights), C-72 (Addison), C-49 (Homewood), C-92 and C 94 (Libertyville), and C-98 (Ft. Sheridan) were deployed by 1957.72

In the Chicago area, the Army utilized park land for Nike installations as much as possible. Under lease arrangements, Nike installations were situated in Chicago's Jackson Park, Burnham Park, Lincoln Park, Belmont Harbor, and Montrose Harbor. In all, the Chicago Park District leased 88.5 acres of lake front land to the Army at the rate of $1.00 per year per site. Some local citizens criticized the loss of public recreation land and lack of compensation. On March 6, 1956, Major General Carter, chief of the 5th Regional Antiaircraft Command at Fort Sheridan, told the Chicago Daily News
We don't want to take any park land, but we have no alterantive ... a circular defense of the city is best from a military point of view. In lake front cities like Chicago, the defense must cut across the "diameter" of the circle, the lake shore. We will make every adjustment possible without throwing defense out the window.

The Army acquired the land for Nike Missile Base C-84, which was approximately 25 miles northwest of Chicago near the town of Barrington, through a combination of purchase, declaration of taking, and condemnation. Dur ing 1956 and 1957, the Army acquired 26.87 fee acres, 54.67 easement acres, and two no-area permits (pole line and sanitary sewer line in public road right-of-way) for use as Nike Missile Base C-84. The Launch Area, which was just east of Quentin Road, consisted of 15.80 fee acres. The Battery Control Area, which was to the east just north of Lake Cook Road, contained 11.07 fee acres. Of the 54.67 easement acres, 0.19 acres were comprised of an access road and utility easement for the launcher and housing area, and the remainder of the 54.59 easement acres were line-of-sight and safety easements.73

The cost for Nike Missile Base C-84 was $1,214,502.97. By June 1962, the Army had constructed 12 Nike installations for the Chicago Defense Area, which cost $13,774,674.11 ($55,071.89 over budget).74 In all, the Army built 23 Nike installations in the Chicago-Gary (IN) Defense Area, although they were not all in operation simultaneously.

Two Army battalions and the National Guard manned Base C-84. In 1956-1957, the 13th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion -- which earlier had been part of the Chicago defense system of 90mm and 120mm antiaircraft guns -- was headquartered at Nike Missile Base C54 (Orland Park), and served as a Nike-Ajax battalion. On July 16, 1956, the battalion designation was changed to 13th Antiaircraft Artillery Missile Battalion, Nike-Ajax. Also that month, D Battery transferred from Base C-71 (La Grange to Base C-84. Battery A was lo cated at Nike Missile Base C-70 (Naperville); Battery C was at Base C-51.75

The 13th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion inactivated September 1, 1958. At that time, the 2nd Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery, activated with headquarters at Nike Missile Base C-54. Through 1959, Nike Missile Base C-84 served as this battalion's Battery D. Battery A was located at Nike Missile Base C-49 (Homewood); Battery C was at Nike Missile Base C46 (Munster, Indiana). By 1961, a National Guard unit manned Nike Ajax Missile Base C-84.76 By this time, Nike Hercules was the more advanced version of the missile, and several Nike Ajax installations in the Chicago defense system were converted to accommodate the larger and more powerful Hercules missile. However, Base C-84 was not converted. After the 2nd Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery became a Nike Hercules battalion, Battery D moved from Base C-84 to Base C-61 (Lemont).

Source for this information:
LAST LINE OF DEFENSE, NIKE MISSILE SITES IN ILLINOIS
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:37 AM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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I asked about this in the other Nike thread.

To put it another way, is C-94 (Libertyville) the site that is now in Vernon Hills that I described in the other thread?
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Old 05-15-2005, 03:21 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Does anyone know if there were any Nikes defending Cleveland, and if so, where they were? I've seen some of the old WWII anti-aircraft guns (there's one on the lawn of the Brooklyn city hall, and I think a few on the lakefront), but I've never seen any missile sites (or at least, none recognizable as such).
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Old 05-16-2005, 01:58 PM
Foghead Foghead is offline
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there is a short article and some pictures of missile sites in NJ here. (Select 'Nike Missile Bases' near the bottom of the Quick Links list).
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Old 05-16-2005, 03:08 PM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos
Does anyone know if there were any Nikes defending Cleveland, and if so, where they were?
Who would want to defend Cleveland? Nevertheless, check this out: Detroit-Cleveland Nike Sites
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Old 05-17-2005, 03:24 PM
5que 5que is offline
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In 1985 the company I worked for moved into a new building in Naperville. Supposedly it was built over a Nike installation, because we were told they were going to put a health club in the basement, and the swimming pool would be the missle bunker!

I never got to see the basement or find out if the story was true -- the company went out of business. The building was on the south side of Diehl Rd, between Naperville Rd and Washington St.
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:49 PM
movingfinger movingfinger is offline
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I grew up in Los Angeles within a mile or so of a Nike battery. It was located in the Baldwin Hills, near the reservoir that failed in 1964 (I think). Prior to becoming a missile battery it was an anti-aircraft gun site.

I believe it is now in the Baldwin Hills Regional Park, between La Brea and La Cienega Boulevards.
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:51 PM
movingfinger movingfinger is offline
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Another site was on the Palos Verdes peninsula in what was then Fort MacArthur. The site is now the location of the civic center for the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.
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Old 05-17-2005, 08:57 PM
SCSimmons SCSimmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5que
In 1985 the company I worked for moved into a new building in Naperville. Supposedly it was built over a Nike installation, because we were told they were going to put a health club in the basement, and the swimming pool would be the missle bunker!

I never got to see the basement or find out if the story was true -- the company went out of business. The building was on the south side of Diehl Rd, between Naperville Rd and Washington St.
Gosh, that seems awfully doubtful to me. That's nearly fifty miles from Chicago proper, and the 'burbs didn't sprawl nearly as much at that time as they do now. Soviet bombers wouldn't head through that area until after unloading on the Windy City, given any reasonable attack approach. Not much use shooting 'em down at that point ...

I suppose a Naperville emplacement would be useful to defend Aurora. I can't imagine Aurora having been on a bombing list for anybody but the Keep America Beautiful brigade.

My late grandparents lived mere blocks from that site from the fifties through the eighties. Perhaps I'll check with some of my mom's older brothers & see if they remember anything about a Nike emplacement in their backyard.
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:27 AM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is online now
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I lived right next door to a site, one of the emplacements chosen to defend the Pittsburgh industrial area. It was the launch site, placed atop a ridge. The command and control site and the barracks were a short drive down the road.

The school district even called my school bus stop the Nike Site.

In my childhood, the site was converted into a National Guard post, and then totally deactivated in the 1990's.
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:36 AM
Man With a Cat Man With a Cat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSimmons
Gosh, that seems awfully doubtful to me. That's nearly fifty miles from Chicago proper, and the 'burbs didn't sprawl nearly as much at that time as they do now. Soviet bombers wouldn't head through that area until after unloading on the Windy City, given any reasonable attack approach. Not much use shooting 'em down at that point ...

I suppose a Naperville emplacement would be useful to defend Aurora. I can't imagine Aurora having been on a bombing list for anybody but the Keep America Beautiful brigade.

My late grandparents lived mere blocks from that site from the fifties through the eighties. Perhaps I'll check with some of my mom's older brothers & see if they remember anything about a Nike emplacement in their backyard.
I remember similar stories about roughly the same area, although closer to Warrenville. I remember it being somewhere around Ferry Rd./Warrenville Rd. north of I-88.
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:47 AM
AmericanMaid AmericanMaid is offline
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There was a Nike site out in Needham, MA (a suburb of Boston). There was a recent article in the local paper saying how since it's so near the town dump, the town is trying to take over the site for expansion.
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:48 PM
SCSimmons SCSimmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSimmons
Gosh, that seems awfully doubtful to me.
OK, well, so much for Mr. Skeptic ... Per the IL EPA :

Quote:
Originally Posted by IL EPA
Nike missile battery site C-70, located in Naperville, is comprised of 47 acres. Currently 33 acres of the former launch site have been renovated into a business park known as "Park Place of Naperville." The remaining 14 acres are owned by the Naperville Park District and are used as a recreational sports complex.
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:15 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Quote:
Who would want to defend Cleveland?
Believe it or not, in the fifties, Cleveland was a major industrial center, producing more steel than Pittsburg and more cars than Detroit. How do you think we got so polluted?

Now, though, there's only one steel mill left in the city, if the local government hasn't stopped trying to keep it afloat for the jobs, and the nearest car factory is fifty miles away. Which is just as well for the water quality, I suppose, and the current industries aren't nearly as bombable.
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Old 05-21-2005, 03:26 PM
flyeater flyeater is offline
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Video of Nike Chicago site
link
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