Passivation Building/Water Flow Facility
Building number 620c

The 1958 plans for this building call it a "Passivation Facility," and a 1959 NARTS brochure refers to it simply as a new hazardous propellant handling building. Passivation (also refered to as "pickling") is the preparation of a metal surface with chemicals so that it becomes more passive, or resistant to further chemical reactions that cause corrosion – for instance from stored liquids. An important aspect of the work NARTS did on propellants involved finding ways to handle and store oxidizers and fuels that were potentially highly corrosive and combustible. The building also had facilities for conducting flow calibrations and small-scale hazardous blending tests, and was equipped with two fume hoods. The L-shaped structure included the 31' by 16' Passivation Room section, which was oriented east-west, and two 11' by 12' storage bunkers on the east side. The latter held hydrogen peroxide, used for treating metal. The height of the main section was 13'4", the bunker rooms 8'10". The main section had a concrete entrance ramp on the west end, three evenly-spaced windows on the north façade, and an entrance door and window on the rear (south) façade. A "monorail" (presumably for moving tanks) ran down the center of the floor, and the fume hoods stood against the north and south walls. The drainage system included a 6'-square neutralization pit built into the ground outside the north side of the building. In 1969 the building was converted to a water flow facility and 2 large cylindrical tanks (26' by 4')were installed below ground on the north exterior. The Passivation Room became the Flow Room, the north bunker became the Pump Room, and the south bunker became the Control Room.

Building Information

Year Built



Concrete foundation and slab floor, concrete block walls, bituminous built-up roof


1 story, 31’ x 16’, 11’ x 12’


Converted and tanks installed, 1969

Additional Building Photographs

  • Building No. 3609
  • Building No. 3609
  • Building No. 3609
  • Building No. 3609

Drawings (click on the image for a separate close-up view)

  • Building 3609 plan
  • Building 3609 Passivation Plan
  • Building 3609 water flow facility plan
  • Building 3609 ventilation plan
  • Building 3609 water flow plan plan