This Underground Shelter From The 1970s Was Just Listed For $18 Million
The Cold War period was an intense one. Many were living in fear of an approaching war and the statistics tell that by 1960, almost 70 percent of American adults thought that nuclear war was impending. By the mid-1960s, an estimated 200,000 shelters were built—but it’s only a rough estimate. It’s hard to know the exact numbers because “people didn’t talk.”
Since bunkers and shelters became so popular—with Washington Times pointing out that it was a “conceit of suburban life”—it’s only natural that they ranged in their decor. There were people who wanted to make bunkers as homely as possible and equipped them with every amenity imaginable.
One such lover of the suburban extravaganza was Girard B. “Jerry” Henderson—an entrepreneur who made his fortune through several companies including Avon cosmetics and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
Entrepreneur Girard B. “Jerry” Henderson had a particular fear of the Cold War ending the country for good. Therefore, he found a company called “Underground World Homes.” In 1964, he created an exhibit at the New York World’s Fair called “Why Live Underground” to promote the concept of living underground. Jerry lived in his own underground house until his death in the early 1980s, while in the 1970s, he built this extravagant underground Las Vegas residence.
After casting a first look at the interiors of 3970 Spencer Street in Las Vegas, this might look just like any other early 1970s suburban home—it has a nice kitchen, spacious bedrooms, six bathrooms, a Jacuzzi, a pool and… wait, a dance floor?… Okay, maybe it’s not your regular next-door-house-from-the-’70s. But the catch is not the dance floor. It’s the fact that this house of 5000 square feet is located below another home, which is traditionally above-ground. This is a bunker built in the 1970s in fears that nuclear war would blast everything off the surface.
The house in Las Vegas was recently listed by Stephan M-LaForge at Berkshire Hathaway for $18 million. A quick lookaround of the interior is like a blast from the past, with decorations and furnishings looking like they came straight from the catalogs of the 1970s. The Cold War-era bunker is over 15,000 square feet and comes complete with a yard that has artificial trees, rocks, and even hand-painted murals depicting forest and countryside settings.
The lights in the yard can be adjusted to simulate different times of the day, and the ceiling has twinkling stars on it to imitate the night sky.
Camouflaged by rocks, an entrance complete with an elevator takes you deep into the underground home with an additional staircase hidden in a backyard shed. While not truly built to withstand a nuclear blast, the property is 26 feet below the surface and could be remodeled and converted to become an authentic nuclear shelter.