America’s First Community Fallout Shelter Now A Safe Haven For Local Musicians

Back in the 60s you could purchase a spot for your family in what is now called The Boise Bomb Shelter for $100

This odd hobbit-hole of a structure is known as the Boise Bomb Shelter. It is, according to the Bomb Shelter’s own website, America’s first community fallout shelter prototype. It was originally called the “Highlands Community Fallout Shelter” and was only open to a certain portion of the Boise community. Residents who could afford the $100 price tag could reserve a spot for their family within its protective concrete walls. Get a load of these newspaper clippings from the day .

Later, when the fear had passed, the Boise Bomb Shelter spent a significant amount of time as the offices of the Independent School District of Boise City. But after they moved their headquarters, the building sat empty for a short time. 

Then in 2003, Jon Farren, a Boise resident, bought the property and used it for storage and as engineering offices. But as Jon Farren looked around the Treasure Valley, he saw a demand that few others recognize exists: local musicians needed a safe haven to rehearse and store their equipment without inconveniencing neighbors or breaking sound ordinances.

For the past sixteen years, local musicians from all walks of life have seen the Boise Bomb Shelter as a second home. Just because its roof is made of earth doesn’t mean that the building standards are sub-par. Don’t forget that the purpose of this building was to shield entire families from nuclear poisons during the ravages of war, so the basic comforts of daily life at the very least were prepared during its construction.

It has kept up to date in most ways as the decades have passed. Each room within the Bomb Shelter has its own coded lock on a stout and secure door, the entire building is fully heated and air-conditioned, and bathrooms on both floors.

Currently, the Boise Bomb Shelter is being renovated and some of its safety systems are being updated, so its not the most impressive sight to see. But, as we have always been taught throughout grade school, what matters most is what’s on the inside.

Many of the local bands that rent a space at the BBS bring in couches, mini-fridges, and even build stages and sound systems in their rooms; anything everything you could imagine to customize their own comfortable and creative space. Musicians have been known to spend weeks or months continuously working on material and nailing down their sound at the Boise Bomb Shelter.

If you or anyone you are close to is in the Boise music scene, chances are you have heard of the Boise Bomb Shelter. It is not really a place you can visit unless you are invited by a musician renting a room there, but you can at least Go! get a good look at the place that holds such a strange history.

There is quite a long waiting list if you want to rent a room for your musical project, so put your name on it now by sending an email to Jon .

Go! support the local musicians who create music at the Boise Bomb Shelter!

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Adam Brimhall

Adam Brimhall

An expert at going out.