Skip to comments.Mount Umunhum: Former Mountain-Top Military Base Opens This Week to Public
Posted on 09/11/2017 4:24:26 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Thirty-seven years after the U.S. Air Force shut down a mountain-top radar station in the hills south of San Jose that scanned the skies for Soviet bombers during the Cold War, the summit of Mount Umunhum is finally opening to the public this week as a new park, with stunning views of San Francisco Bay, Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay.
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, a public agency that owns the 3,486-foot peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains east of Los Gatos, spent $25 million over eight years on the project.
Supporters say the new summit, which visitors will be able to drive to free of charge, could instantly become a landmark the South Bays version of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County or Mount Tamalpais in Marin County.
Im so pleased we got to do this, said Steve Abbors, general manager of the district. When the public gets up there they can enjoy the views, breathe the clean air, walk on some interesting trails and learn about the history of the mountain, which goes back 10,000 years.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
The old Nike Missile base at Montrose Harbor in Chicago has been open for years.
There’s lighting on Mt. Umunhum right now.
“Me Big Chief Uga Mug Ug gotta have a squaw!”
Always thought it was open anyway...
My friends and I used to climb all over one in the Philadelphia area before it was raised and built upon. Old military sites are pretty cool. I saw many when I was stationed in Germany.
do doo de-do-do
The locals here worked hard to save this as a chunk of landmark architecture from the Cold War rather than returning the mountain top to its natural state. Of course the Air Force scraped off most of the mountain top long ago to build this, so it wouldn't have been very natural anyway.
That’s not a mountain, that’s a hill.
"The open space district insisted that the Defense Department pay to demolish and haul away the old buildings, but the Pentagon did little. As a result, the summit remained padlocked and off limits for 31 years. Its 88 buildings became a crumbling ghost town contaminated with asbestos and lead paint."
Only the government would take 31 years to do something with a valuable resource, allowing the buildings to fall to ruin while they thought about what to do.
And then they got to work soaking the taxpayers:
"When Abbors became general manager of the district, he made cleaning up the site a priority. Former U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, D-Campbell, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, secured $3.2 million from Congress in 2009, which paid for the hazardous materials to be removed and the buildings demolished."
"The districts original estimate to clean and restore the summit was $11 million in 2009. But high bids during the Bay Area construction boom, soaking winter weather last year and other factors caused the price tag to rise to $25 million."
How many private construction projects overrun their budget by more than 200 percent? I wonder if the "other factors" include a lot of new cars, vacations, etc.
Heh - now that's some vintage brain sludge. That stuff was certainly memorable, though - I have Al Hirt's "Java" as a ringtone and it's always fun to see the glint of recognition when some people hear it. "Hey - it's that tune from the dancing slinky Muppet number!"
There is an old Nike missile tracking station above Pacifica that is open for looting; a person can just ride their mountain bike through the old buildings. I took shelter there from rain and stormy weather more than once.
It has amazing 360-degree views; it looks down on SFO and on a clear day the Farallon islands are visible 23 miles off the coast.
I recommend it.
The construction boom from Silicon Valley up to San Fran is staggering. 2X isn’t that surprising.
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