Nike Site Summit 2005

Another Anchorage NIKE site, Summit, is located near the Arctic Valley ski area in the Chugach mountains. Since being decommissioned in 1979 it had deteriorated considerably, thanks to the harsh weather, vandals, and military training exercises. I paid a visit to the launch bunkers and surrounding buildings in 2005.

They were rather decrepit, and completely open to the elements. While the situation for the site looked rather grim back when I checked it out, it seems to have improved considerably since. Friends of Nike Site Summit and the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation seem to have been successful in their push to get the site recognition as historic. Since the summer of 2010 FONSS have been performing restoration work at the site.

Most of the equipment inside has been stripped, or is lying in pieces. Larger components are left in place though, including the missile carriages.

The works of the carriages are far less intact than at Point.

Several murals original to the site can be found. This one is on the ceiling in the lower level of one of the bunkers.

Another mural, I believe it was in the hallway to the back rooms of one of the launch bunkers.

The support buildings fared worse than the bunkers. Wood construction and the harsh climate don’t agree well.

A lot more of the old fixtures were present in this group of buildings. Lots of trash from training exercises was scattered around.

It was quite the hike from the ski area parking lot. Rest of the set below, lots of equipment detail and a few more interior shots.

NIKE Site Point 2005

Back when I lived in Alaska I made a hobby out of exploring abandoned buildings, and the most plentiful and accessible tended to be those of the derelict military installations that dot the state. One of these is NIKE Site Point, one of three NIKE missile sites that protected the Anchorage area during the Cold War era. This particular set of photos is from a visit way back in 2005.

This site has largely been demolished, and the few buildings that still exist have been sealed up tight and/or repurposed by the municipality of Anchorage. The launch control and support buildings were all razed at some point, with only foundations to mark where they stood. What is left are several bunkers which once housed the missiles that the whole installation existed for.

I had the good fortune to be taking pictures of the exteriors of them at the same time a municipal crew was opening one up to stow away some playground equipment in one of the bunkers now used for storage. I asked if I and my friends could have a quick look around and they obliged, so we took a quick self guided tour and I snapped this set.

Going through them now, this nameplate on the equipment used to deploy the missile carriages onto the pad outside the bunker caught my eye. I took these pictures far before I knew much of Portland beyond its name. Now, I realize I’ve spent the past few years walking by the business that manufactured this stuff way back when. Premier Gear & Machine Works still exists on Thurman street.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a whole lot of time inside the bunker. I did manage to pick out a lot of details that aren’t present in the other sites which have been ravaged thoroughly by scrappers and vandals nonetheless. The parts of this NIKE site that weren’t razed are remarkably well preserved. Here’s the rest of the gallery: