Portage Township, Indiana

Missile elevator

Missile elevator to underground storage magazine and launcher-loader assembly,
one of three at Nike Missile Base C-47 Launch Area, with open escape hatch (foreground).
Buildings: Water treatment, pumping and storage building;
missile test and assembly building; generator building; and warheading building.


More pictures from C-47's launch site
C-47 Launch Site Aerial Photograph
C-47 Control Site Aerial Photograph

Efforts are underway to save this historic site from demolition

Update: Despite assurances that C47's launch site structures wouldn't be destroyed during an environmental clean-up, Don Peterson reports that the Army Corps of Engineers has indicated that demolition is scheduled to take place later this May.

Rep. Visclosky: Facilities at C-47 'will not be removed or destroyed' during clean-up
The Nike Preservation Group seeks to save Site C-47 as historic site
IDEM letter re: application for listing C-47 in the Indiana Register of Historic Sites

Nike-Ajax Nike-Hercules missiles sitting on rails

Left, Nike-Ajax. Right, Nike-Hercules on rails. (US Army photos)

There are five sites in northwest Indiana that once defended the steel mills, industry and people of Chicagoland. C-47, as did all Nike sites, consists of two parcels of land. One is owned by a paint ball camp named Blast Camp and was the control center of the Nike site. C-47's launch site sits abandoned and silent.

According to Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-Ind.), the site will be cleaned-up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this summer, but the facilities on the property will not be removed or destroyed as part of the clean-up process.

However, word came from the Army Corps of Engineers that the contractors will begin their demolition work at the site in mid-May, according to Don Peterson, spokesperson of the Nike Preservation Group. The Nike Preservation Group seeks to save the site as a historic monument.

News stories published in the Gary Post-Tribune reported the Army Corps of Engineers plans to spend about $766,000 to obliterate the launch site sometime this spring. The plan calls for the obliteration of seven buildings, the pumping of water from of three missile silos, filling the silos, and cleaning up any contamination. The 14 acre launch site was abandoned by the Army in 1972.

Local fire departments have expressed interest in the property for use as a training center.

More local news stories about C-47 from The Times.

Col. Stephen Moeller's article Vigilant and Invincible explains the history of the Nike program.

Abandoned building

Ready building located just inside C-47's launch site entrance

More C-47 launch site photographs

Back to home

(C) 1998, Christopher C. Hedges, All Rights Reserved
All images by Christopher C. Hedges unless otherwise noted

Updated: May 2, 1998

This page hosted by Get your own Free Home Page