The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District held an open house and workshop for its directors to hear the public on options for the Mt Umunhum radar tower July 18 at the Quinlan Center in Cupertino.
In the fall, the district's board of directors will decide what option would best serve the public and history. .
The five-story tower is a relic of the Cold War, part of the Almaden Air Force Station, where vigilant personnel kept watch over the skies.
Option 1 - Restore: The radio tower would be removed, leaving only its subsurface foundation. Native habitat would be restored to near-natural condition within the tower footprint, providing visitors with a panoramic view and sense of the summit as it once was.
Option 2 - Open Air: The radar tower would be mostly removed; however the first-floor columns and wall sections are preserved as an accessible open-air gathering place. This open-air option would retain parts of the former tower while allowing for partial views at the summit site.
Option 3 - Retain and Seal: The radar tower would be retained in its entirety and remain the most prominent feature at the summit. Stuctural damage would be repaired, a new roof installed, and the radar tower would be sealed shut
To allow visitors to safely access the site long-term, the building's structural integrity would be upgraded to meet Santa Clara County's code requirements.