Windsor Locks Nike Field Maintenance Shop/USAR AMSA
PART I. HISTORICAL INFORMATION
A. Physical History:1.
Date of erection: 19592.
Architect: Ganteaume & Mullen, Engineers /Architects, Boston, Mass.3.
Original and subsequent owners, occupants, uses: Original use was as a US Army NikeMissile Field Maintenance Shop for the Hartford Defense Area. After conversion to anAMSA in the 1970s, the facility became a motor vehicle heavy maintenance and repairgarage for assigned Army Reserve unit vehicles in the region. AMSA personnel performmajor tasks such as engine rebuilding, transmission and axle replacement, painting, andmajor repairs. The facility also functioned as a storage location for reserve unit vehiclessuch as tanker trucks and earth moving equipment too large for permanent storage at theirassigned reserve centers. The mission of Windsor Locks at BRAC closure was to providemaintenance support to Army Reserve units in northern Connecticut and central andwestern Massachusetts. Windsor Locks was one of two similar facilities in Connecticut, theother being the former Nike maintenance facility at Milford, Ct.4.
Builder, contractor, suppliers: Constructed under contract by the US Army Corps of Engineers, New England Division, Boston, Mass. .5.
Original plans and construction: Original construction documents are dated January 1957.6.
Alterations and additions: The main structure has received little modification and noadditions. The major changes have been to the building’s fenestration.B. Historical Context:
Cold War Air Defense and Creation of the Nike System
For the first years of the Cold War, the US had a monopoly on atomic weapons and theirdelivery platform, the B-29 long-range strategic bomber. The monopoly ended when theSoviets used reverse engineering to build their own version of the B-29. The first TU-4 wasunveiled in 1947. In 1949, the Soviet Union tested its first atomic weapon. Americans werepainfully aware after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that the measure of securityafforded by geographic separation from Europe and Asia was waning, but Hawaii was stilla significant distance from the American mainland. The Soviet development of the TU-4and their possession of nuclear weapons removed that remaining sense of security, becauseit meant for the first time that an adversary could decimate America’s largest cities fromabove.US decision-makers and military planners developed a two-part strategy for countering thethreat from the Soviet Union. The first part of the strategy was called deterrence. Under thisstrategic concept, the military worked to deter the Soviet Union from an attack on the US orits allies with the threat of massive atomic retaliation designed to destroy the enemy’s