Atchison Storage Facility -
The Atchison Storage Facility, commonly known as the "Atchison Caves" is a 2.7 million square foot underground storage facility in a former pillar limestone mine 50 to 150 feet (15 to 46 m) below the ground in the Missouri River bluffs at Atchison, Kansas. The bunker complex was a secure U.S. government storage facility from World War II until 2013. In April of 2013 it was privatized and sold to a private investor from Springfield, Missouri. The proposed uses of the facility include storage, miscellaneous business uses (Mo-Kan Underground Business Center and Citadel Caverns), an amusement complex (Extreme Underground) and a doomsday bunker (Vivos Survival Shelter and Resort).
The facility which is adjacent to Jackson Park in Atchison has 125 acres of above ground land and 60 acres of underground storage space and has been called the "World's Largest One-Level Storage Facility."
In 1886, George W. Kerford began to quarry limestone from the large bluffs 2 miles (3.2 km) south of downtown Atchison, Kansas. Initially, the company produced riprap for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, one of several railroads that traveled through the area. The Kerford Quarry Company's operations at the site resulted in a series of large caverns supported by 20-to-30-foot (6.1 to 9.1 m) pillars of unmined rock. The mines in the quarry grew to encompass more than 60 acreas of underground space.
During the Second World War, the United States War Food Administration was tasked with collecting and storing reserve farm products to support the war effort. A businessman in Atchison suggested to them that the Kerford Mines would be an ideal facility to store perishables due to the constant temperature and humidity in the caverns.
The government immediately began renovations, spending nearly $2 million to create a refrigerated storage facility where the temperature would be maintained at 32 degrees. The War Food Administration stored perishables including meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and eggs in the facility. By 1949, reports indicate that the Atchison Storage Facility held nearly 9,000 tons of eggs, 20,000 tons of prunes, 1,000 tons of raisins and nearly 50 tons of milk.
In 1977, the facility was transferred to the Defense Logistics Agency and it was renamed as the Atchison Storage Facility. It was later used to store surplus parachutes (more than 8,500), medical supplies and important defense department documents, plans and computer files. Documents classified as "Secret" were securely stored inside two large vaults.
Until 2013 it was operated by the Army Reserve's 88th Regional Support Command in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Defense Department documents listed the facility's use as storage and training. They list the size of the facility as 125 acres (51 ha) above ground and 60 acres (24 ha) below ground. In the 1990s some hazardous materials were identified at a former landfill at the site. Extensive site remediation was conducted and groundwater monitoring is being conducted in cooperation with the State of Kansas.
In April 2013 the entire facility and property were sold via an online GSA Auction. The final sales price was $510,001.00. The new owner, Coby Cullins, is a businessman from Springfield, MO. The facility is currently undergoing extensive renovations and will be used as an underground business complex that will house a wide variety of commercial and industrial businesses. Businesses inside the facility include Citadel Caverns, MO-KAN Underground, Vivos, and Extreme Underground.