For April, Stone Soldiers.info is celebrating the A to Z Challenge with daily letter-themed entries. A separate page with a list of all these entries, plus Character Profiles and Book Synopses will appear on the right hand side of the page in coming weeks, detailing the people, places and things of the Stone Soldiers universe.
BOOK OF STONE: ARGON TOWER
(A Stone Soldiers Encyclopedia Entry)
The headquarters of Detachment 1039 and home to Project Medusa where Stone Soldiers are made, Argon Tower is an imposing-looking black glass office building, modeled after the famed Seagram Building in New York City designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The tower is located southeast of Homestead Air Force Base, at the corner of SW 97th Avenue and North Canal Drive, overlooking Biscayne Bay and the Biscayne National Park.
Constructed in 1960 under the auspices of concealing listening arrays trained on Cuba to the South, the tower’s actual function was to conceal the Fountain of Youth and its associated research facilities that were acquired by the United States Government in 1942. During the tower’s many decades of use, it has hosted a variety of NSA and DoD projects, and is officially listed on Federal records as an NSA site.
The tower stands twenty-two stories tall, with three sub-basements. A subterranean canal, constructed alongside an existing drainage canal, connects to a hangar complex in the southeast corner of Homestead Air Base, allowing the clandestine transport of people and materials to and from Argon Tower.
The entire east side of the tower, from the fourth to eleventh floors, houses the antenna arrays used to monitor communications in Cuba, concealed behind the same black glass facing the remainder of the building is covered in.
In addition to serving as Det. 1039’s HQ, Argon Tower is host to Project Ghostwind, an NSA/DOD astral reconnaissance project, Project Medusa, a petrification research project, and the Fountain of Youth Research Facility.
In the course of the Stone Soldiers series, the following locations have been revealed within the tower:
Sub-Basement 1: access to the Fountain, which is located north of the tower, beneath a parking lot.
Sub-Basement 2: Storage vaults, Holding Cells, Access to the Subterranean Canal, and the Fountain Observation level
1st-2nd Floor: An Atrium overlooking the East and West Lobbies
3rd Floor: The tower’s Cafeteria, Bar and Lounge
11th Floor: NSA Monitoring Equipment and the Neural Network M.A.X.
12th Floor: Detachment 1039’s Command Center
13th Floor: Project Ghostwind
14th Floor: Detachment 1039’s Training rooms
15th Floor: Colonel Mark Kenslir's Office
19th Floor: Residential apartment for Detachment 1039
21-22 Floor: A combined level filled with HVAC equipment
Rooftop: Helipad and Freight Elevator elevator access
The tower further has been revealed to be equipped with self-destruct charges, designed to prevent the Fountain of Youth from falling into enemy hands—a plan enacted at the height of the Cold War, when fears of the invasion of Florida were still alive.
With its optimal location adjacent to Homestead AFB and the ocean, Argo Tower serves as a well-secured base of operations for Detachment 1039 to operate around the world.