Skip to comments.A Profitable Vestige of Cold War Precaution
Posted on 06/18/2012 11:21:43 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
The owner of a home in Queens has not given much thought about the origin of the concrete and steel room buried beneath his basement. When I bought this house, nobody came to see this, said Francisco Lago, who purchased his two-story home about 30 years ago. It was in ruins.
It looks better today, but not by much: cluttered with tools and echoing with the rumble of a dehumidifier working overtime to keep the 300-square-foot room from devolving into the mold-infested, subterranean cave it was before.
Yet this unimpressive cramped space hidden away on a quiet block is a surprising link to a momentous period in American history: It is the only stand-alone private space remaining in the city to qualify as a bomb shelter, according to city records, a vestige of the cold war era when underground sanctuaries were promoted as offering refuge from a mushroom cloud.
To the Lagos, however, the shelter was just another part of their home they had to worry about and maintain. We never come in here, said Mr. Lagos wife, Maria.
Besides being a historical curiosity, this forgotten room carries a tangible benefit a tax break that has saved the Lagos thousands of dollars over the years. They are one of the few remaining beneficiaries of a bill passed by the states Legislature in 1961 that provides exemptions for shelters designed in accordance with plans, regulations and orders of the State Civil Defense Commission.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Nice going, big mouth. You're in New Yawk - they'll close that little loophole before the first pitch of the next Mets game. And make it retroactive.
--H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
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