Packard Campus History

During the Cold War, responding to fear that a nuclear war would destroy the economy of the United States, the United States Federal Reserve constructed a bunker to house enough U.S. currency to replenish the cash supply east of the Mississippi River following a catastrophic event. Dedicated on December 10, 1969, the 400 foot long, 140,000 square-foot radiation-hardened facilities was constructed of steel-reinforced concrete one foot thick. Lead-lined shutters could be dropped to shield the windows of the semi-recessed facility, which is covered by 2-4 feet (of dirt and surrounded by barbed-wire fences and a guard post. The seven computers at the facility, operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, were the central node for all American electronic funds transfer activities. Until July 1992 the bunker also served as a Continuity of Government facility. With a peacetime staff of 100, the facility was designed to support an emergency staff of 540 for 30 days. But only 200 beds were provided in the men's and women's dormitories, which would be shared on a "hot-bunk" basis by the staff, working around the clock. Until 1988 the facility stored $241 billion stock of currency to be used to reactivate the American economy following a nuclear attack.