Denver Federal Center: Building 710, Lakewood, CO
As a part of an intensive architectural survey of the Denver Federal Center, Building 710 was evaluated by the Colorado State Historic Preservation Office and found to meet National Register Criteria. This building, constructed in 1969, meets National Register criteria A and C under Consideration G, governing resources under 50 years of age. Criterion A includes properties associated with one or more events important in its historic context, and Criterion C applies to properties significant for their physical design or construction. Building 710 possesses a high level of integrity and national significance illustrating the Cold War heritage of the United States. As one of eight original permanent, federal Regional Operating Centers, Building 710 was built to serve as the Region 6 Office of Civil Defense (OCD) operations center for the federal government in the event of a nuclear attack, and has exceptional historical significance with respect to our nation's waging of the Cold War. It also represents a building type and method of construction that is unique to these eight facilities, being designed solely for survival in the event of a nuclear attack. Building 710 has undergone few changes and contains most of its operations systems. The site, however, has been altered somewhat with the construction of Building 710-A and connecting underground tunnel in 1985, and Building 720 to the northeast in 1992. The building possesses integrity of location, and a high degree of integrity of materials, design, workmanship, and feeling. The objective of this historic building preservation plan is to provide critical historical and architectural information so that future appropriate rehabilitation efforts may be completed and any improvements to the building, site, and surroundings do not cause loss of Building 710's historic integrity.
Upon completion of construction, the OCD moved its operations from Building 50 and its adjacent bunker to Building 710 until it was abolished on May 5, 1972, when the new Defense Civil Preparedness Agency (DCPA) took over the center's operations. DCPA continued to use the facility until July 15, 1979, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was transferred the responsibility for civil defense operations as its Region Eight Operations Center. To date, FEMA continues use of this facility to coordinate national emergencies and disasters of all types.
Constructed of concrete and steel, the two story building has approximately 36,000 square feet and rests under three feet of earth. The building has a fallout protection factor of 1000 and was designed to withstand the worst nuclear attack. The power system is fed by a main and back-up generator system and water is stored in a 5,000 gallon water tank, with back-up from an underground well. The building was capable of housing 300 emergency personnel for up to 30 days with food and lodging facilities. The communications center was contained in its own separate "metal box" room designed to shield sensitive equipment from electromagnetic pulse. Located next to the structure are above-ground and below-ground antennae.
(Information for this section was collected from the DFC Draft Historic Preservation Plan, 1997, Architectural Inventory, 1996, and FEMA Building 710 Pamphlet.)
- Architects: U.S. Army, Corp of Engineers
- Construction Date: 1969
- GSA Building Number: CO0631AA
- National Register of Historic Places Landmark Status: National Register Listed