As we reported back in 2013, the facility was a spooky place – the photos certainly prove that. Chances are, if you ask anyone who knows anything about the place, they’ll tell you they know a friend of a friend who has been there. They’ll tell you that the facility was a mental health institution where only the worst of the “problem cases” were sent. They’ll tell you that this place burnt to the ground in a freak accident. They may even tell you that the spirits of the mental patients haunt its abandoned halls even to this day.
As it turns out, urban legends are all that run rampant here. The facility was never an insane asylum – what it was, was a Cold War anti-air missile base. Resultantly, we owe you both an apology and the real story, which you can get below.
The place is actually IFC HM-95, D battery. IFC stands for integrated fire control, and HM for Homestead-Miami. In a nutshell, this facility was where the army operated early warning radar to detect incoming bomber airplanes. Back in the early 1960’s rocket science hadn’t developed to the point where you could just press a button and expect a rocket launched from Russia to fall in the U.S. Their nuclear weapons couldn’t reach that far – that is, until the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was a simple thing for Russian rockets based in Cuba to reach U.S. shores in minutes, even seconds. Miami was ground-zero for nuclear conflict. The Cold War got hotter by the minute.
The U.S. rolled out a defense system called the Nike Missile System. It consisted of a net of radar sites to sweep the air for enemy bomber planes. If an enemy plane were detected, radar operators would place a call to their nearest missile launch site, located within a mile or two of each radar base. The idea was to have the missile base fire at enemy bombers and hopefully take them out before the bombers could reach their targets.
Over 200 Nike missile sites were constructed in the U.S., several in Miami alone. The fact that so many were built – and so quickly – tells of the paranoia of the era. Once they were rendered obsolete, the armed forces generally either sold them off for redevelopment or abandoned the sites. The site that would come to be known as the “Krome Insane Asylum” is, in fact, the IFC base for missile battery D. It lies abandoned and largely forgotten, crumbling into the swamp that surrounds it. Its corresponding missile base was transferred to another federal agency – the Immigration and Naturalization Service – and now operates as the Krome Detention Center.
Order Your Copy Of Miami Is Missing
Like what you read? This book discusses thirty-five abandoned, forgotten, and vanished historic Miami locations. Photographs, addresses, and coordinates are provided for context.
Discussed in this book:
- The remains of a city wiped off the map
- An abandoned rocket waiting to fly man to the moon
- The infamous "Krome Insane Asylum"
- The lost site of Miami Municipal, Amelia Earhart's departure point
- Opa-locka's vanished golf course, archery club, & aquatics center
- Interama, the futuristic cultural expo that never was
- And many more . . .