Historic Sites Inventory Pantex Plant Industrial Property
Compiled in 1992, this database contains detailed information on historic industrial buildings located at the Pantex Plant in Carson Co., northeast of Amarillo. The buildings surveyed, built between 1942 and 1945, were originally part of a World War II ordnance facility. In 1951, the site was reclaimed by the Atomic Energy Commission and was subsequently modified and expanded for use in high explosive and nuclear weapons production. Included in the survey are more than 60 structures, including offices, buildings for every phase of the bomb manufacturing process (TNT screening, load melting, pouring, cooling, shell painting, assembly, and shipping), and ramps connecting the various buildings.
Data from this survey can be found in neighborhood surveys of Carson Co. and is indexed under the listing "Pantex."
What will I find?
Documentation for each structure includes the following identifying information: plant name, serial number, current and original building numbers, county, city/rural designation, and USGS quad name and number. Also given are factual/estimated construction date, date of additions, historic name, architect/builder, owner, contractor, historic and present uses, property type and subtype, and stylistic influences. Included as well are notations on integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, association, and feeling.
History of property and area of significance are given. Also included are surveyor's name, date surveyed, photographic information, and notations of historic designations (none, National Register, Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, Historic Areas Building Survey, local, or other).
Detailed information about building construction may be given: direction building faces; number of stories; basement; plan (rectangular, other, open, office, symmetrical, asymmetrical); number of bays (symmetrical, asymmetrical); construction material (wood frame, steel frame/concrete, steel frame, concrete frame, brick, hollow clay tile, concrete, or other); foundation (concrete slab, concrete perimeter, brick, pier, concrete pier, other); type of floor; exterior wall surface (hollow clay tile, brick, synthetic siding, metal siding, asbestos shingles, concrete, stucco, corrugated fiberglass, other); windows (double hung, single hung, casement, awning type, hopper type, fixed, wood sash, metal sash, light configuration, grouped windows, window lintel type, window sill type, and other); doors (single, double, multiple, roll-up, sliding track, dutch, side lights, transom, lintel type, loading dock, ramp, other); porches (elevation, number of bays, canopy, shed roof, hipped roof, gable roof, inset, enclosed entry, balcony, railing, other); roof (gable, hipped, shed, gable monitor, flat with parapet, dormers, vents, lightning rods, projecting fire wall, other features); roof materials (rolled mineral surface, composition shingles, asphalt/gravel, corrugated metal, clay tile, box eaves, exposed rafter ends, other); chimneys (interior wall, exterior wall, flue, hollow clay tile, brick, stucco, other); other landscape features (earthen barricades, wood/earthen barricades, sidewalks, other); north/south/east/west elevation features (side/gable end, windows, doors, porches, number of bays, ramps, wall surface, vents, other); additional remarks on property as built; and additional remarks on property's status.
Additional information includes alteration/additions, historical background, bibliography, and statement of significance.
- History of property is brief but informative, usually including details of original and current use.
- Alteration / additions provides extensive detail on modifications to individual buildings or structures, where available.
- Historical background is highly informative but is reproduced for each structure associated with the production line.
How can I use it?
The Pantex Plant data will be of interest to students or researchers of military and social history. While the plant eventually had four production lines, buildings associated with earlier production lines no longer exist. The remaining WWII-era buildings at the site are from Bomb Load Line 3, which produced large general purpose bombs and 23 lb. fragment bombs at various times during the war, and from Bomb Load Line 4, which was never made operational, having been scheduled to begin production in late August 1945, just days after the war ended. Anyone with an interest in WWII and the Pacific Theater, military ordnance, or wartime economy will find these documents of interest.
Additionally, the structures documented here may be valuable in terms of military/industrial architecture. Especially noteworthy are the WWII-era igloos used to store ammonium nitrate.
What else should I know?
Although documentation on individual structures is sometimes incomplete because surveyors' access was limited by the plant's present production status, the information available in this database is highly detailed and informative, providing data that is likely to be valuable to both casual and serious researchers.