California, Silicon Valley

Demolition of the Blue Cube

Demolition of the Blue Cube


Growing up in Silicon Valley, the Blue Cube which was officially known as Onizuka Air Force Base loomed large in my imagination.  With my parents telling me the building had no windows to prevent spies but finding what was going on inside,  the Blue Cube conjured up visions of spies, espionage and James Bond-esque plots.  With those childhood memories in mind, the demolition of the Blue Cube feels like the end of era and in many ways it is.  There’s very little defense work that goes on in Silicon Valley today.  And, no 10 year old kid is going to drive past a Facebook building and wonder what secret work is going on inside.

The Air Force claims that the lack of windows was to save on heating and cooling costs but I don’t believe them.   Rationally, it seems unlikely because every other building has windows.  More importantly, it take ways all the mystery of place.  Even at its closing, most of what went on there is still classified so the mystery will live on, at least in minds of those of us who remember the Blue Cube.


One thought on “Demolition of the Blue Cube

  1. Mike, If you remember the two additions built in 1982/3/4 that were one story on top of a two story parking structure. Those two one-story 100ft x 300ft structures were designed and built to withstand radio based attacks to avoid any penetration of the envelope from outside intruders who would love to either listen or hack the computer controls for all the systems running in the facility. At the time this building technology was necessary to avoid our work getting out or worse hacked and controlled by our enemies. The additions had a 30 year life span. I was there to help build them 1983 and 30 years later I was witness to the demolition and saw first hand the last days of their existence. From dust to dust in 30 years.

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