top of page

The Boise Bomb Shelter was constructed in 1961.  Funding came from the Federal Civil Defense Agency and from the sale of stock, which was available on a family-share basis for $100 each.  The facility was designed by Boise architect Edgar B. Jensen and constructed by Welsh Brothers Construction of Boise for The Highlands Community Shelter, Inc.  Originally called the "Highlands Community Fallout Shelter", it was the first prototype community fallout shelter in the United States and was dedicated for use as a center of recreation, business and youth activities and to be ready to meet the requirements of civil defense research and a national emergency of any scope for the benefit of the community.  It's an underground concrete building designed to house multiple families for an extended period of time in the event of nuclear attack.  The structure is two stories, 14,000 square feet, steel reinforced concrete, and includes a diesel generator, kitchen and, formerly, dormitories and decontamination showers.

Attendees at the ground breaking ceremonies on December 29, 1960 included:

    Idaho Governor Robert E. Smylie
    Col. James Keel, State Civil Defense Director
    Norman Jones, Ada County-Boise City Civil Defense Director
    Members of the Board of The Highlands Community Shelter, Inc.
    Boise Chamber of Commerce
    Clyde Friend, Spokane Civil Defense Director
    Ada County Commissioners
    Boise Mayor Robert L. Day
    Boise City council members
On September 15, 1972 the property was purchased by The Independent School District of Boise City.  The School District used the facility for administrative offices and storage of school records, furniture, film reels, etc.

In 2001, the School District consolidated their office locations into a new building on Victory Road and they no longer needed the Bomb Shelter.  On December 5, 2003 the property was purchased by Jon P. Farren.  The building is now used as an engineering office, indoor storage, and music rehearsal studios.

LOCATION:  In the highlands neighborhood on the north end of Boise.  Bogus Basin Ski Resort is about 25 miles north, Highlands Elementary School is across the steet to the south, Crane Creek Country Club is on the east side and the Governor's mansion is on the west side.

bottom of page