Mt. Um's "Cube" is Focus Public Hearing on Wednesday

The iconic cube was once part of Alamden Air Force Base. Its fate will be debated at a public input meeting in Menlo Park on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

The controversial fate of a Bay Area Cold War relic will be the hot topic at a public meeting Wednesday where a deciding board will hear arguments on why, or why not, to preserve what’s commonly known as the “cube” atop Mt. Um.

A public hearing to be held at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center at 700 Alma St. in Menlo Park beginning at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19, will give residents an opportunity to tell the board of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) how they feel about the radar tower, which was part of the Almaden Air Force station on Mount Umunhum.

Patch will follow this topic so stay tuned and weigh in with your comments here.

Basim Jaber, a proponent for saving the tower urges supporters to “dig deep and help with one final push for saving the tower.”

The board will make final decisions on elements of the Mount Umunhum Environmental Restoration and Public Access Project, but the fate of the tower will be decided at a meeting on Oct. 17.

Elements that may be approved in Wednesday’s meeting include a parking and staging area at the Bald Mountain trailhead; a multi-use trail from Bald Mountain to the Mt. Um summit; interpretive and educational feature; potential visitor center; a new multi-use trail from Mount Thayer to Ralph’s Mountain in the Lexington Basin; and safety upgrades and improvements to Mount Umunhum Road.

The district is considering three options for the tower; tear down the structure and return the land to its most natural state; tear down part of the structure and turn the remaining into a community space; or restore and retain the structure.

Jaber, and others like him, argue that the tower holds significant historic value, not just to the South bay, but to the region, state and even the nation.

“The truth is we all lived under a blanket of peace and comfort provided to us by the men and women of the US Air Force who manned these Cold War stations keeping a constant watch of the skies during what were very tense times back then.

Yet despite the iconic landmark that remains, the MROSD, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"multiple-appeals-filed-on-lehigh-s-reclamation-plan-under-consideration-by-supes"} --> wants to tear it all down and leave nothing in its wake. This, for lack of better words, is a travesty,”

Basim Jaber September 17, 2012 at 11:48 PM
The online petition is still open and signatures continue to roll in. Thank you all for your support. https://www.change.org/petitions/save-the-mt-umunhum-radar-tower
Sheri Woodburn September 18, 2012 at 09:29 PM
The Cube reminds me of the batteries at the Marin Headlands, a Bay Area favorite for hiking, taking in views and teaching history. Hiking Mt. Umunhum is on my to-do list, and I sincerely hope I get to see this historic early-warning radar system facility when I do!


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