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Old Grand Prairie EOC
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City Of Grand Prairie Texas Old Emergency Operations Center
How I Found The Place..
I was driving down main street in Grand Prairie in the early 1990's when I stopped at the traffic light in front of the main fire station. I looked to my left and spotted a large blue sign with white letters on a block wall next door to the fire station that said "Emergency Operations Center." After the light turned green I turned around and went back to check things out. I only looked over the entrance door and ventilators at that time but I wish I would have asked someone with the city about the place. It would have been nice to have seen it in better shape than it is now. In March 2004 I was thinking about other virtual tours I could do for this site so I called the city of Grand Prairie and asked them if I could do one of their old EOC. They said it would be ok but that it was probably partially flooded. When I got there I found out they were right about the water but I put on my rubber boots, trudged through the water, and took these photos. Click on any photo to see a larger version.
Thanks to the Grand Prairie Fire Chief for the permission to do this virtual tour and thanks for the city facilities folks for taking me down into the place to take the photos!
The EOC entry and ventilators are enclosed in this block wall which looks like it was added to the back of the building. The building was originally the Grand Prairie Police station. I think the building was built some time in the early 1950s. There have obviously been flooding problems with the shelter for a long time as evident by the "Flood Warning Light" sign on the wall.
EOC Entry & Air Ventilators
This covered walkway leads from the building back to the EOC entry. The entry door is just a regular metal door so I guess that would make this EOC primarily a fallout shelter.
In the thumbnail photos below are the air exhaust ventilator, air intake ventilator and generator exhaust pipe. I don't know whose idea it was to put the old fire extinguisher shell on the generator exhaust. I thought it was a muffler at first 'till I took a close look at it. The generator exhaust pipe goes through the block wall outside the enclosure and down into the concrete where it goes into the generator room below. The air intake ventilator comes out of the concrete above the air conditioning closet at the bottom of the entry stairs.
Entry Stairs & Generator Room
The entry stairway leads down to a generator room at the landing level a few feet above the floor level of the shelter. If you click on the photo to see the larger version you can see a line on the wall to the left where the water level once was. With the water at that level it would have been about 2 feet above the ceiling level of the shelter below. I don't know how long the place was fully flooded but I guess it wasn't for very long or else it would be in even worse shape than it is. Click the thumbnails below to see the generator and power boxes. The generator appeared to be in decent shape although I guess it could be full of water. The corner of the blue box in the photo is air exhaust blower. The air duct pipe leads out of the wall above the power boxes and out to the exhaust ventilator above. I'm not sure how the generator was fueled.
Stairs Into EOC
This is looking down from the landing at the generator room level into the shelter. The water lever is just above the bottom stair. The air conditioning closet is the door in the immediate left at the bottom of the stairs. That's the foil covered air duct at the top of the photo. There used to be ceiling tiles covering the duct but they were all soaked and piled in the floor of the hallway.
Main Hallway & Various Rooms
This is looking down the main hallway towards the operations room from the bottom of the entry stairs. Water soaked ceiling tiles and junk were piled in the floor down the hallway. The telephone equipment room is to the immediate right. The shower is behind the door to the immediate left. I think the shower was put there for decontamination upon entering the shelter after fallout arrival. The rest room door is the second open door to the left. The kitchen is last on the left before entering the operations room. Everything was pretty nasty when these photos were taken. After some serious drying out, shoveling of junk, scrubbing, bleaching, repainting and replacing of necessary items this shelter could be restored but I think the city is planning on eventually filling the thing in.
This is looking into the communications room from the operations room. Everything is seriously trashed in here. Plenty of vintage phone equipment.
Operations Room & Remains
The operations room still had a map, chalk board and bulletin board on one wall. The cabinets at the far end still had stuff on the shelves. I found some items that would make any Civil Defense collector cry. Sitting on one of the chairs in the middle of the room was a case of 10-16mm Civil Defense training films. I didn't even touch the old rotten case. See the other old water-ruined stuff by clicking the thumbnails below. The poster on the bulletin board was still in fairly decent shape considering what it had been through with all the flooding. The door at the far end of the room leads to the rear access and sump pump well. It's a shame that sump pump wasn't kept in working condition or all this stuff might not have been ruined.
This is the small parking area behind the building. The EOC is under this parking area. I guesstimated that the ceiling of the shelter is probably about 3-4 feet below the level of the parking lot. The metal hatch at the far right is the rear access/sump pump well. Click the thumbnails below for a closer look.