Friday, January 21, 2011

The Bunker at the Greenbrier

Shrouded in secrecy for years the Bunker, under the West Virginia wing, at the Greenbrier Hotel did not become public knowledge until May 31, 1992 when a reporter for The Washington Post let the cat out of the bag. This was one of the best-kept secrets in the world for over 30 years.

Construction began on the Bunker in 1958 and was finished in 1961 and, contrary to popular belief, was meant to house the United States Congress in the event of a nuclear attack. The Bunker was so “under wraps” that workers at the hotel had no idea that it even existed.

The Bunker consisted of:

  • 18 dormitories that would accommodate up to 1,100 people
  • A clinic with 12 hospital beds
  • Laboratory, pharmacy, and an Intensive care unit
  • A power plant with filtration units and 25,000 gallon water tanks
  • Communications area
  • Meeting rooms for the House and Senate

For the over 30 years that this remained secret, communications and equipment were kept up to date and the bunker was kept in full operational status. Forsythe Associates was the front for the small group of government associates that worked undercover at the Greenbrier to keep the bunker in a constant state of readiness. The community had no idea what was right in their back yard.

Tours are 1 and ½ hours in length and range from $20 - $30 dollars depending on the season.

The grounds at the Greenbrier are beautiful, the hotel itself is amazing, and the history behind it will not leave you wanting. This is a real must see!