The Gypsum Files

Notes on the Rock Nobody Knows

New use for old gypsum mine

with 2 comments

What can you do with a hole in the ground? From a 2001 story in USAToday:

Image from

Underground Secure Data Center Operations (USDCO) opened 4 months ago in an abandoned gypsum mine in Michigan. From 85 feet underground, the company plays host to the computer systems of 22 clients. Client headquarters are as far as Australia, but their mission-critical systems are operating from the mine beneath Grand Rapids and over the latest in fiber-optics bandwidth. USDCO provides the tech support to keep systems operating.

Wired also carried the story back in 2001. Strangely, the USDCO website is not loading. I’d like to know more about this abandoned mine.


Written by Elizabeth McCullough

February 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

2 Responses

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  1. USDCO went out of business in 2003. It seems that they were shut down by township zoning ordnances. Apparently, the township required them to hook up to a sewer line; the sewer line that they had to hook up to was three stories ABOVE the level of the mine. They refused to do it, so the township told them that they had to close.

    That is the story that I got, anyway.

    The mine is still there, but USDCO is not.



    June 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm

  2. Great info, Paul — thank you! I’d love to get a tour of that mine either way. Must be a little spooky now.


    Elizabeth McCullough

    June 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm

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