About

Security Guard Building

Guard Building aerial shot

The small guard building identified as Building 8895 originally served as a guard house for the Eubank entrance to Sandia Army Base, which was merged into Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) in 1971. As the gates were reconfigured, it became the guard house for the Contractor’s Gate entrance, just south of the main Eubank Gate entrance to KAFB. Building 8895 was built as a guard post—a location for security personnel staffing the gate to meet base entrants, to handle paperwork, communicate, shelter, and take breaks. By 2008, it was one of the few remaining buildings in the design of the early facilities on KAFB and at Sandia.

Building Design

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Building 8895 was a free-standing, one-story, metal-framed structure of about 490 sq. ft. It sat on a cast-in-place concrete slab-on-grade foundation. The exterior walls were painted metal panels with large casement window panels above painted metal panels on the north and west sides. The north wall had two pedestrian glazed exterior doors with knobs.

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The east side was primarily large painted metal panels with smaller metal panels above and below, with a large casement window above a painted metal panel on the north end. The south side had no windows and consisted of large painted metal panels above smaller metal panels, reflecting the design of the sides with windows. The south side entrance was a single metal pedestrian door with a coded handle lever.

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The building had a flat built-up roof with gutters and downspout. The roof held an evaporative cooler air conditioning unit with integral thermostat. The roof was flat with eaves extending approximately 3' beyond the building’s edge. The appearance emphasized flat, vertical elements common in mid-century design.

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The building floor plan was rectangular in shape, with the main entrance located on the north side. A counter was installed within the north entrance (it had been removed prior to photography, but its location is apparent in the marks on the floor).

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The building’s steel framing was apparent on the interior. The interior also housed two restrooms in a south-central section.

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The building interior floor was covered in 12" commercial vinyl composite tile. The walls and ceiling were painted. The facility had baseboard electric heat and an electric unit heater. Metal trough luminaires suspended from the ceiling housed fluorescent light tubes.


The Historic Designation

Once the building was slated for demolition, Sandia conducted a historic building assessment and recommended to the DOE/NNSA/Sandia Field Office that 8895 was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. SFO determined that it was NRHP eligible and the State Historic Preservation Officer concurred on July 29, 2008.

The building was considered historic for its association with historic events—it represents the security element of Sandia’s required administrative functions deployed in support of the Labs’ Cold War-era contributions to nuclear weapons design. It illustrates the physical security presence at the lab, the Atomic Energy Act-generated security requirements associated with designing and handling nuclear weapons, and reflects the location of the Sandia New Mexico site within a military base.

Although neither a unique design, the work of a master, nor a fine representative example of a particular architectural style, Building 8895 also proved historic for its architectural design. It directly reflects the functional vernacular design used by the military and Sandia in the 1945-1955 period. As one of the few remaining intact representatives of this type on KAFB, it was determined eligible for its architectural design, as well as its association with historic events.

End of Life

Guard building in color

Building 8895 remained in use and maintained its purpose as a guard building until a new design for the Contractor’s Gate area was implemented in 2008. The building was old and in need of maintenance and a newer facility was already in place at the site. It was photographed and demolished in 2008.