Backyard Bomb Shelter in Kessler Park is Relic of Past and Warning for Future

Walk into Don Sanders' Kessler Park backyard, and it's an oasis. A leafy escape from the city. It's also an escape from nuclear disaster.

"I think they thought radiation would gather on a flat surface," Sanders said showing off the slanted hatch of his backyard fallout shelter. "It's like it was built yesterday."

The shelter was built in 1961, a time when public fallout shelters and practice drills were a part of life. "We did duck and cover things," recalled Sanders. 

When Sanders bought the mid-century home 5-years ago, he says the real estate agent told him the backyard oddity was a storm shelter. But the turbine venting system told Sanders otherwise. He says the shelter was a selling point for the home.

"This is lead. This is a steel box lined in molten lead," Sanders pointed out. "These are like beds on a ship," he said pointing to cots that tilt into the walls. 

It all looks the way it did when it was built more than 50 years ago, down to the broom kept in the corner. "I just kept it like this because I think it needs to stay like this," Sanders said. 

It's not because of any North Korean nuclear threat. To Sanders, his shelter is a piece of history to learn from the past.

"I think if you don't know what happened, I think you're just going to get yourself in trouble in the future," Sanders explained. "Cause if you don't understand, then I think you don't learn from your mistakes."

Sanders says the shelter is completely functional with ventilated air, water, and electricity. He says it's been featured on the show "Doomsday Preppers", but Sanders has no plans to use it for its intended purpose. He says he's not prepping for the end. 

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