The Newsletter of the Nike Preservation Group


Volume 3, Issue 3                                                            MAY 2000


Nike Preservation Group, Inc., 475 Maple Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906

Editors: Don and Susan Peterson  Phone: (765) 743 - 9333 E-mail:


NPG President and founder Robert T. Peterson passed away Monday afternoon (5/1/00).  He was 77 years old.  His passing came as a great surprise to those who knew him.  Surviving him is his wife of 52 years Pauline Peterson, as well as his seven children and fourteen grandchildren.   Robert owned Peterson Brothers Trucking, and later KRC Transit, both of Valparaiso, Indiana.


Robert was a WWII Army Air Corps Veteran and former POW.  He was a life member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Nike Preservation Group.  His interest in the preservation of the C47 Launcher Area was generated not from being a Nike Veteran but from raising seven children through the years of the Cold War.  Many of those years where in the communities which C47 protected.  Robert and his son, Don Peterson, began efforts to save the Launcher Area in 1997 when they learned of the governments plans to demolish the site.  After years of battling with the General Services Administration, Nike Battery C47 was listed on the National Register of Historic Sites on Jan. 21, 2000.


Although Robert Peterson was instrumental in the formation of the Nike Preservation Group and the push to get C47 listed on the National Register, the work of the NPG will not stop with his passing.

NPG Mourns Passing of President and Founder

Robert T. Peterson,  London 1945




There is still work to be done to ensure that the ownership of the C47 site passes to an organization that will work toward the preservation and restoration of the site. Hopefully, that organization will be the NPG.


Whether as a grandfather, father, uncle or just friend, those who knew him will greatly miss him.




Johnathan Robert Peterson                  Robert Thor Peterson    Samuel Thor Peterson    

Robert and his grandchildren, Don and Susan’s boys, March 2000







U.S. General Services Administration

New England Region

Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Federal Building

10 Causeway Street, Boston MA 02222


The Honorable Richard G. Lugar                                                                          January 25, 2000

United States Senator

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510-1401


Dear Senator Lugar:


Your letter to William Ratchford, dated January 6, 2000, regarding the former NIKE Battery C-47, Porter County, Indiana, has been forwarded to me for response. This property, originally conveyed to the Portage Township Schools in 1973, reverted to Federal ownership in 1993 and is expected to again be processed as surplus property.


We were informed by Mr. Patrick Andrus, with National Park Service, that the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places January 21, 2000. Therefore, our disposal of the property shall take its historic significance into account and we shall take appropriate steps to mitigate any adverse effects to the property. Before the disposal process can begin, however, Army must determine whether additional environmental remediation is necessary. Army's environmental activities at the site were placed on hold pending determination of the property's historic significance. Once Army informs us the property is environmentally suitable for transfer, the disposal process may commence.


Once the disposal process has begun, we shall take actions required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (I 6 U. S.C. 470), to determine the appropriate treatment for the historic property. At this time, no conclusions have yet been reached. The decision shall be made in consultation with the Indiana State Historic Preservation Officer and the National Advisory Council for Historic Preservation as well as any other interested parties. With respect to the disposition of the property, it must first be screened for interest from Federal, state, local, and homeless assistance agencies. If none of these acquire the property, it will then be offered for sale to the general public. It appears that Mr. Braun and the Nike Preservation Group shall be eligible to acquire the property only through public sale, should the property reach that stage of the process. I hope this information shall be of assistance and I regret any confusion that may have arisen regarding previous correspondence. Enclosed are copies of letters previously sent to Senator Lugar, via Lane Ralph in Indianapolis, in response to inquiries regarding this issue. If there are any questions or if you would like to discuss this matter further, do not hesitate to contact me at (617) 565-5860 or a member of your staff may wish to contact Joseph O'Bradovic of our Property Disposal Division, Chicago Operations Branch, at (312) 353-6045.





Robert J. Dunfey, Jr.

Regional Administrator

New England Region





By John Braun


Shortly after receiving the above letter In the beginning of May, I contacted Mr. Paul Diebold at the DNR, Historical Preservation and Archaeology Division who works for the Indiana Historic State Preservation Officer.


Mr. Diebold gave several suggestions on how to proceed in acquiring C-47L.  He suggested the NPG contact The State Museum Division and Historic Sites, to see what help they could provide. Secondly, he suggested we might contact the National Park Service and ask for a meeting to give them a presentation about our plan and purpose for restoration of Nike Site C-47L. A good possibility exists that the NPS would assist us in acquiring the property for museum purposes. Mr. Diebold at the DNR indicated he would be willing to compose a letter to the National Park Service to plant an idea in their mind about using C-47L as a park in joint venture with the Nike Preservation Group. Mr. Diebold said that the C-47L property would need to meet Federal Secretary of Interior environmental standards. He also indicated that funds would need to be available from the NPG to restore buildings and to provide a maintenance endowment.


We continue to move forward as a Group in an arduous bureaucratic process to obtain C-47L for our purposes. It has taken much longer than we could have imagined a couple of years ago. Your Officers and Board members of the Nike Preservation Group, Inc., assure you that  we will persevere in our efforts. If any of you can provide ideas of procurement assistance to our Group, please contact Mr. Don Peterson.






Last Name _____________________ First  Name _____________________MI _____

Street Address: _______________________________________________________________

City___________________________ State ____________________Zip  Code__________

Home  Phone (           )__________________Work Phone (          )___________________

E-mail Address________________________________________________________________

 Are you a Veteran?   (Yes)   (No)

Did you work with Nike Systems or where you stationed at a Nike Base?   (Yes)   (No)

If so, Where and When? _______________________________________________________________

Are you interested in volunteering labor at C47?  (Yes)  (No)

What do you think you could help with? ___________________________________________________


Mail to: The Nike Preservation Group, Inc., 475 Maple Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906


Membership fees:

 Individual Membership, $15 a year                     $150 NPG life time membership*

or  $40 for 3 years.                                $200 NPG family life time membership*

 Family Membership, $20 a year                       $1000 or More - Corporate Sponsorship**

or  $50 for 3 years.                  

All members receive the NPG newsletter.  *   Lifetime members receive a free gift and their names on the C47 Wall of Fame.  ** Corporate sponsors receive a wall plaque of appreciation and their corporate logo placed on our sponsorship board.  The Nike Preservation Group, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation.




New England Region

Text Box: The following was received from the GSA explaining their policy and practices, please compare to the letter from the Army from July 16, 1998.


April 18, 2000



Mr. Don Peterson

National Spokesperson Nike Preservation Group

475 Maple Street

West Lafayette, Indiana 47906




As you may be aware, Nike Battery C-47 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places January 21, 2000. You may also be aware that the property is again proposed for disposition, having reverted to Federal ownership after having been used by the Portage Township Schools for many years. Before this disposition can occur, however, the property needs to be determined environmentally suitable for transfer by Army, the agency that originally used the property. Army's investigation and remediation of the property had begun but halted when the State of Indiana determined the property to be historically significant, reversing a previous determination that the property was not significant. Army, which had, proposed demolition of all structures on the property on the basis of the determination that the property was not significant, now must reassess the situation and determine an appropriate course of action for any environmental work that may still be required.

Once we have received certification that the property is environmentally suitable for transfer, it shall be disposed of following GSA's standard procedures. These are, as you will see, affected by the property's historic significance and will give due consideration to governmental agencies looking to acquire the property.  In addition, our regulations guarantee that the property's historic significance will be considered and that any disposition of the property will attempt to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any adverse effects to the property's historically significant features.


I am writing in response to your letter of April 11, 2000, inquiring as to the status of Federally-owned property referred to as Nike Battery C-47, Porter County, Indiana. In particular, you asked about possible disposition options available with respect to the property. I hope the information provided below will answer all your questions.

Upon hearing that the property had been listed on the National Register of Historic

Places, we informed Army of this fact and requested information as to what further investigation or remediation would be-required at the property before its disposition could proceed. We are still waiting for a response to our letter but telephone conversations indicated that the project would have to be reviewed in light of its new circumstances and that it would have to be resubmitted for funding before any work could take place. Our disposition efforts for the property cannot resume until this occurs. .







When excess Federal real estate is scheduled for disposal, it is first offered to other Federal agencies, then to state and local government agencies and, for many properties, homeless assistance agencies. Finally, properties which have not been conveyed to one of the above will be offered for sale to the general public in an open, competitive sale.

State and local government agencies will have the option to purchase the property for public purposes or to pursue acquisition of the property through one of our public benefit programs in which properties are conveyed at no cost for specific public purposes. Because of the property's historic significance, it will be made available to these state and local agencies through our historic monument program. Interested agencies will be required to submit an application for the property to the National Park Service- if the application is approved, it will be considered by GSA along with any other requests for the property by state or local agencies. It should be noted that requests for the property by other Federal agencies take precedence over any other requests. In addition, requests for the property for homeless assistance use, submitted through the Department of Health and Human Services, are, by law, given priority of consideration over requests from state and local agencies.

 Reality Specialist

Property Disposal Division


For any conveyance of historically significant Federal property to non-Federal parties, we are required by the National Historic Preservation Act to consult with the State Historic

Preservation Officer and other appropriate parties regarding our proposed disposition. In addition, we are required to take actions to avoid, minimize, and mitigate any potential

adverse effects that are likely to arise as a result of the property's proposed reuse. None of this guarantees the property will be preserved but it will require whoever acquires the property to consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer before proceeding with

any activities that might impact the property's historically significant aspects.


Finally, with respect to your interest in acquiring the property, as a private organization, your only opportunity to acquire ownership of the property would be through purchase of the property in a competitive sale to the public, usually in the form of a seated-bid sale. Only governmental agencies may acquire the property through negotiated sale or through our public benefit program. It may be possible, however, for you to attempt to make arrangements with a local governmental body which may acquire the property for operation by your group.

I hope this information shall be of assistance. If you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter further, do not hesitate to contact me at (312) 353-0857.














P.O. BOX 59


July 16, 1998

Programs & Project Management Division

General Services Administration Attention- Ms. Lucrezia Patruno 230 S. Dearborn Street

Room 3756

Chicago, Illinois 60604

Dear Ms. Patruno

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), after having again reviewed the history of this project and having reassessed its authorities under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program - Formerly Used Defense Sites (DERP-FUDS) program, are proceeding with the Nike Site C-47 project as follows:

1. Current HTRW Pr2ig,51t. We are proceeding with the soil and groundwater cleanup, which includes-.

(a) Removal of contaminated soil caused by leaking underground storage tanks previously removed.

(b) Removal of PCB contaminated transformers.

(c) Removal of asbestos tiles stockpiled out side the buildings

(d) Removal of TCEs at Monitoring Well Number 4.

(e) Padlock gate and repair holes in the fence.

2. Eligibility of the Building Demolition and Debris Removal Project. On June 26,

1973, 34.62 acres were conveyed through allowance to the Portage Township School Corporation by Quitclaim deed. The deed stated the property should be utilized for. educational purposes for 30 years from the date of deed. In 1982 the School Corporation returned 20.46 acres (the radar and admin site, Barracks Area) to GSA. The 20.46 acres were subsequently conveyed to Mr. Dale Summers on March 8, 1982, and were then sold by Mr. Summers in August 1994 to Mr. Paul Johnson and Mr. Tom Mikos. The remaining 14.16 acres (The Launch Area) were utilized by the School Corporation for Drivers Training and Storage until August 24, 1993, when the property was returned to GSA. The School Corporation made beneficial use of the Launch Area over 20 years, June 1973 - August 1993. Because the School Corporation made beneficial use of the property, the project does not qualify for BDIDR under the DERP- FUDS program. There should have never been a BD/DR project. That was our mistake.
























Therefore, the Building Demolition and Debris Removal Project is cancelled, and the funds de-obligated. However, the demolition of the missile silos, because of the groundwater contamination issue, does qualify as a CON/HTRW project. We will proceed to seek funding for the demolition of the silos subject to the 106 review.

3. Ownership. DOD used the site from approximately 1958 through 1972. The site

was reported excess to GSA in May of 1972. The United States of America was the fee owner of both the Launch Area and the Barracks Area. As stated above, the Barracks Area is now privately owned. Protection and maintenance (P&M) of the existing facilities, buildings and missile silos as discussed during the June 16, 1998, conference call, is not the responsibility of the Corps. The Corps' position is that GSA is the

Federal Holding Agency of the Launch Area. The Corps is the agency responsible for environmental cleanup only. While our contractor is on site, all necessary safety requirements will be met for the associated work being performed.


Responsibility for the National Historic Preservation Act 106 Review.

(a) The responsibility for the 106 review process to determine if the site qualifies for the National Register of Historic Places rests with the property owner. In that the Corps is not the property owner, we will not be reviewing, making any investigation, or determination, relative to the 106 review process.

(b) In summary, it is the Corps' position that the site does not qualify for a BDIDR project, meaning under any circumstances the Corps can not demolish any building within the Launch Area. The only project at the Launch Area that does qualify under the DERP-FUDS program is an HTRW project for the demolition and groundwater cleanup at the missile silos, if allowed by the National Historic Preservation Act. The 106 Review Process is the responsibility of the property owner.

If you have any questions please call our Project Manager, Michael Layman, at 502-626-7005.


Donald L. Basham

Deputy District Engineer (PM)

Does anyone else feel that the GSA is not exactly on board with the Corps of Engineers.  The way I read the Army’s letter, they are not interested in ever returning to C47.  The GSA letter makes it sound like the Army is running the show.  Oh well, just another day dealing with the GSA.                                                                                                                         By Don Peterson




“The Nike Hercules Story” Video

as told by the United States Army


This historic footage tells the public affairs version of the Nike Hercules development and deployment. 30 minutes of family entertainment.   Yours free when you make a donation to the Nike Preservation Group of $18.00 or more.   


Send your donation to: 

The Nike Preservation Group, Inc., 475 Maple Street,  West Lafayette, Indiana 47906 Available in VHS only.  Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. The Nike Hercules Story - produced in 1958/59 by Herbert Kerkow, Inc. of New York









The Nike Preservation Group, Inc.

475 Maple Street

West Lafayette, Indiana 47906














If you haven’t paid your dues for 2000, please don’t delay, send it in today!