Federal Center
Denton, Texas

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Civil Defense Museum
Federal Underground Center, Denton, Texas.
(Fomerly) Department of Defense, Office of Civil Defense Region 5 Center now FEMA Region 6 Center.

Back in 2001 I put together a full walk-through virtual tour of this facility. It was the first big project I did for this web site. In mid-2001 I contacted FEMA about a tour and asked if I could take a set of photos and they walked me through the center. I photographed almost the entire facility except the communications room. That was the only place they didn't allow me to enter. They showed me the air filtering system, power generators, decontamination showers, blast protective valves for the air system (all mentioned in both articles below) and I posted the set of photos on my site. I did see the exterior of the communications room with the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) protective doors that led into the room. (the entire room was EMP protected as well) I also visited the center on two earlier occasions around 1990 and back then it was still in it's full cold-war era condition complete with maps on the walls. I'm still kicking myself for not taking a camera that time. The last time I was there was around 2003-4ish and at that time they didn't allow any photos to be taken at all.

In September 2002 FEMA contacted me and asked me to remove the virtual tour from my site. It was in the aftermath of 9-11 attacks and they said they "were concerned about their exposure." I didn't argue and removed the section from my site. I thought about it and decided that since they allowed me to do it in the fist place and were very cooperative then I would honor their request.

Now it's 13 years later (Sept 2014) and after reading the article (linked below) on the FEMA site about the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Denton Federal Center I thought I would put up this page. I may eventually put back up some of the photos I took in 2001 because after reading the article it seems that many of the unique features of the center have been removed or decomissioned. The aerial photo below of the Denton center has be available on line for years and the news article below that shows an accurate cutaway shot of the underground center.
See bottom of this page for some old photos I took back in 2000 of some of the now decomissioned features of the Denton Center.

Information about the above image from The Portal to Texas History web site. Click Photo To See Larger
Caption: Ariel view of the Federal Center on Loop 288.
Citation: The Federal Center, Photograph, n.d.; digital image, ( : accessed June 29, 2013),
University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Denton Public Library, Denton, Texas.

An article on the FEMA web site about the Denton FRC (Federal Regional Center) 50th Anniversary From early 2014..

News Article about the Denton center.

The May 15, 1961 news article below and the drawing shown with the article are a very accurate description of the underground center. There are all kinds of wild stories about the Denton center. In reality there's really not much to it. It's really not much more than a buried small office building. If you read the news article below you will see some terms like "virtually buried city," "underground fortress" and "vast fortress" so it's easy to see from the beginning how the air of mystery about the place got it's start. From some of the wild stories I have heard about the facility you would think the Time Tunnel is hidden on the site. The drawing below shows a cut away of the underground center looking at it from the southeast corner.

Information about the above image from The Portal to Texas History web site. Click Photo To See Larger
Caption: Aerial view of the Federal Center during construction.
Citation: Aerial View of the Federal Center Construction, Photograph, n.d.; digital image,
( : accessed June 29, 2013),
University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Denton Public Library, Denton, Texas.

Denton Center Photos From 2000
The above linked article on the FEMA site about the Denton Center mentions several features of the center that are no longer used or were removed during the remodel in 2009. I thought it might be ok to include some of my old photos of the center I took back in 2000 since these features are no longer in use or no longer exist.

Denton Federal Center View From Loop 288
Front Entry Blast Door
Front Entry Blast Door. (Railing Was Removable)
Ladder at bottom of stairs leads up to front escape hatch.
This entrance is virtually identical to the Old Dallas Civil Defense EOC.
Decontamination Shower
Decontamination Shower
The shower room was off of the corridor leading into the
center on the first level below the front entry blast door.
If I remember correctly the entry to the shower was to the
immediate right and the exit was the door with the
light coming through past the shower.
Power Plant Generators
Power Plant Generators
Power Plant Generator Engine
Power Plant Generator Engine
Well Room
Well Room
The water wellhead is the large frame on the big red springs.
Water lines are black. Notice well equipment cabinet at right is also on springs.
Notice the spare light fixtures in left foreground all have shock springs attached to
their mounting tubes.
All light fixtures piping etc in the center had shock springs like these.
Vintage Washing Machine In Laundry Room
Laundry Room
The laundry room in 2000 still had one of the original washing machines.
All the others machines had been replaced.
Typical Hallway
This is one of the north/south hallways.
I can't remember which level or if this hall was in the front or back.
The east/west hallways are about half the length of the north/south.
Typical Office In 2000
A Typical Smaller Office In 2000
The FEMA site mentions a 2009 remodel.
This photo was taken in 2000 so I don't know what
all has been changed about the place now.