Abandoned, Forgotten Nike Bases

Sorry for being absent yesterday! Today I’ll be posting two separate photo sets to make up for not posting yesterday.

Today’s photo album is one of two forgotten Nike missile bases. One base resides abandoned in Ohio, while the other sits abandoned in Florida. As for the Florida base, here is a bit of information below.

A decommissioned missile base hides tucked away within the heavily forested Florida Keys. Looking down the old SR-905 in Key Largo, you can barely see the crumbling remains of a former radar site, rusting to dust between hectic overgrowth. The three radars found at this site were the target ranging radar, target tracking radar and the missile tracking radar.

The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 served as a huge eye-opener to the U.S. needing more defenses – thus came the construction of HM-40 only a few short years later in 1965. With the Cold War lasting well through the 1980s, the U.S. continued to send troops and weapons into Florida. This included sending soldiers into the Everglades, where they would then be stationed with mobile anti-aircraft weapons.
HM-40 was one of the first places where HAWK missile units were used, before transitioning to mostly NIKE. What you see here is part of a defunct communications/command post known as an IFC, or integrated fire control. This part of HM-40 controlled the radars, which controlled the missiles. The use of Nike missiles was thought of as extremely advanced during this time, as they were one of the first types of missile to actually track their targets. During these years, soldiers were also living within the grounds of this particular part of HM-40.
In June 1979, HM-40 was abandoned permanently, while the launch site – which no longer stands – was under federal control and became part of the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The radar site, as shown by my photos, was under state control and had become part of the Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. There are plans set to let the areas natural vegetative state consume all that was left behind, returning it to the rich and earthy piece of land it once was. Over these next decades, the Earth will continue to swallow what we have left behind, and some day the soil here will breathe freely once more.
If you’d like, you can check out more photos and cool stuff over at:

Thank you for looking, and be sure to check out what I have to share with you tomorrow!



4 thoughts on “Abandoned, Forgotten Nike Bases

  1. What about the Nike. site on Long Island. I explored that back when I didn’t have a camera back then. Route 107. You go down a long driveway that says private road if you go to the left takes you to someone’s home. If you make a right there’s a fence that says Town of Hempstead something. when you go in there’s lots of over growth and poison ivy around the place. There’s a well about 30′ in Dis. It’s a very old well pumping station that supplied water to old Westbury. The silos were in the ground and flooded with water and I wasn’t going to explore them. The covers were welded shut. In the 1970’s there was a group living on the site. I think they printed up leaflettes and some being radicals but who knows.
    You need to explore this site.


  2. My NIKE site was turned over to my local township in 1974 and the main building was a senior citizens center and voting location for years! And it remains that way today. They filled the silos and plan on turning the area into a park. At least mine went to good use! And our base looks the same as these! That’s pretty cool.


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