Bunker History

The Greenbrier's Bunker History


Construction began in 1958 on the 112,544-square-foot bunker, which was built 720 feet into the hillside under The Greenbrier's West Virginia Wing.  Once complete in 1961, the facility was maintained in a constant state of readiness by a small group of government employees working undercover as Forsythe Associates, a company hired by the resort for audio/visual support services.

During its Eisenhower-Era use, The Bunker provided the following:
  • Four entrances; three to The Greenbrier's grounds and one to the main building
  • 25-ton blast door that opens with only 50 lbs. of pressure
  • Decontamination chambers
  • 18 dormitories, designed to accommodate over 1,100 people
  • Power plant with purification equipment and three 25,000-gallon water storage tanks
  • Three 14,000-gallon diesel fuel storage tanks
  • Communications area, including television production area and audio recording booths
  • Clinic with 12 hospital beds, medical and dental operating rooms
  • Laboratory
  • Pharmacy
  • Intensive care unit
  • Cafeteria
  • Meeting rooms for the House and Senate, the Governor's Hall and Mountaineer room

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 which exposed the facility. As a direct result, the U.S. government began de-commissioning The Bunker and ended the lease agreement with The Greenbrier in 1995.

Today, daily Bunker Tours are offered to registered hotel guests and the general public.

Visit In the News for articles and additional information on The Bunker.  The book, The History of The Greenbrier, is also available on property and through The Greenbrier Online Store.