WIT Press

The closing of military bases in New England: Does the military ever really leave?


Free (open access)


Volume 2 (2018), Issue 3



Page Range

425 - 433

Paper DOI



WIT Press


John Mullin, Zeenat Kotval-K & Zenia Kotval


The physical and cultural patinas of military places are so fixed in the collective memories of New Englanders that well after closure, they remain part of our culture. At times, it may be that some military reserve functions remain, some military research is ongoing, or simply that the land, long ago contaminated by fuel or the debris of weapons firing, is permanently off-limits. Other times, it may be the rigid precise layout of the barracks square, solidly built structures, or the placement of historic objects. The fact remains that military bases remain military in the region’s collective memory well after active forces have left. The paper begins with our examination of how New England military installations have been transformed since World War II. There are tens of installations that have been closed or dramati- cally changed since that time. We then determine, analyse and explain the characteristics that resulted in their having a continued military presence. Finally, we summarize our results to date.


base closings, military legacy, repurposing military bases.