The West Tunnel Blast Door of the bunker.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS – Following repairs and renovations, the former U.S. Government Relocation Facility at The Greenbrier has reopened for tours.
The facility, commonly known as the "bunker," reopened July 17 for guest tours. Public tours will resume Aug. 20.
"The bunker is an important part of not only The Greenbrier's history, but also our country's," said Ted J. Kleisner, president of The Greenbrier. "We are proud of our role in providing a facility where our Constitutional government would have continued to operate and lead our country. The story of the bunker is an amazing one, and we want to continue to share its story with future generations."
The 112,544-square-foot bunker was built 720 feet into the hillside under The Greenbrier's West Virginia Wing from 1958-1961. Once completed, the facility was maintained in a constant state of readiness by a small group of government employees.
The bunker included 18 dormitories designed to accommodate over 1,100 people in bunk beds. The facility also contained a power plant with three 25,000-gallon water storage tanks and purification equipment as well as three 14,000-gallon diesel fuel storage tanks.
In addition to the communications area, which included a television production area and audio recording booths, the bunker also had a clinic area with 12 hospital beds, medical and dental operating rooms, laboratory, pharmacy and intensive care unit.
Also, a newly added Exhibition Gallery has opened. It shows more of the supplies and facilities that were included in the bunker in a museum-type setting.
Over the 30 years that it was an active facility, communications and other equipment were updated, keeping the bunker at full-operation status. The location of the facility, critical to its effectiveness, remained a secret for more than three decades.
On May 31, 1992, The Washington Post published an article that exposed the facility. In 1995, the U.S. Government ended the lease agreement with The Greenbrier and later that year the resort began offering tours of the historic facility.
Photos courtesy of The Greenbrier