This Wall Street Journal article reports on the decision of Continental Airlines and several other local companies to lease as an emergency control center one of the most bizarre sites in the Houston area — a 38,000 square foot, 70-foot deep bomb shelter designed to house 1,500 people for 90 days in the case of a nuclear attack.
The shelter — which has been a topic of conversation for years in these parts — is located adjacent to a four-story office building just up the road on Highway 105 in Montgomery near Conroe on Houston’s far north side. The office building and bomb shelter were built during the early 1980s by a Ling-Chieh “Louis” Kung, the nephew of Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, the former first lady of Taiwan and the wife of Mao Tse Tung’s foremost domestic enemy during the Communist revolution in China. Kung died in Houston in 1996 also claimed to be a direct descendant of Confucius, so he seemed to be pretty well-connected.
The shelter is an absurdly over-the-top facility. It contains a 27-inch concrete roof with rebar for protection and has gun turrets that line its pagoda entrances. When Kung finally lost control of the property, the new owners found information on nuclear weapons and procedures that indicated that Kung suspected China or Russia would bomb the United States in the early 1980s. The bunker contained chemical showers that would ensure a person was not contaminated before being allowed to enter, and was equipped with a full hospital, complete with medical supplies, an X-ray machine, an operating room and a morgue. Not leaving anything to chance, the bunker also contained 14 sound-proofed conjugal rooms.
The bunker had been mostly vacant over the past fifteen years or so until an outfit named Westlin Technology bought it and retrofitted it as a data center. That was a relief to curious local residents, who had to endure constant rumors about various eccentrics buying the property. About ten years or so ago, Republic of Texas separatists — whose members contend that Texas was never legally annexed by the United States — reportedly were interested in making it the new Capitol of Texas if they ever achieved their goal of overthrowing the Texas state government.
Here is a bit more information on the bunker, including diagrams of the bunker’s layout here and here.