The 70's-style Las Vegas doomsday bunker was built during the height of the Cold War
Twenty-six feet underground, the bunker feels like you are actually outside
The bunker is now being sold as a foreclosure for $1.75 million
Editor’s Note: Each week in “Apparently This Matters,” CNN’s Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.
When the apocalypse comes, I’m pretty sure I can get by for a while on Diet Coke and Klondike Bars.
Pants won’t be necessary.
But if we’re talking about real long-term survival, no matter what horrible hell eventually strikes down upon us – be it zombies or fire from the skies – I’m pretty much a sitting duck.
My little craftsman-style bungalow isn’t exactly a fortress.
Conversely, this week the Internet started buzzing about what appears to be the ultimate doomsday bunker that recently went up for sale in Las Vegas for $1.75 million. Of course, the bunker comes along with a proper above-ground house. But the real draw is the amazing subterranean hideaway that’s 26 feet below.
A wealthy entrepreneur names Jerry Henderson built the compound back in 1978 – right during the middle of the Cold War. Fearing that the Soviets might drop some sort of Earth-flattening nuke (or maybe just a really aggressive bear on a unicycle) Henderson created his grand survival plan with all the must-have comforts of home.
Well, almost. There doesn’t appear to be a giant ball-pit filled with hamsters.
Don’t judge. You have your comforts. I have mine.
That said, it pretty much has everything else you’d want if you were to live beneath the dirt. And it’s not just a tiny space to move and breathe – we’re talking 15,000 square feet of basement with a pool, two Jacuzzis, a sauna, and a four-hole putting green. It’s all decorated to feel like you’re in a real house or in a real backyard. Hell, it even has a dance floor.
“Everyone we know is dead. Let’s Dougie!”
The actual living space within the basement is a complete two-bedroom house with exterior walls and a front a door. It kind of looks like it came from The Brady Bunch, and measures 5,000 square feet. Which is huge! And not just for a doomsday bunker.
For the sake of comparison, my entire home in Atlanta is only 1,500 square feet. And it’s not nearly as pimped out as Henderson’s bunker.
What can I say? The paper vase filled with multi-colored sticks from IKEA seemed wild and exciting at the time.
Meanwhile, at the ‘70s-retro bunker in Vegas, one can relax around the fake property amidst murals of nature, just as if you were actually outside. And to enhance the mood, you can adjust the lights and ceiling stars to simulate different times of day. The switches are labeled for sunset, day, dusk and night.
The most advanced switch in my house turns on the garbage disposal.
Over the years, the home-and-bunker combo at 3970 Spencer Street has gone through different owners since Jerry Henderson first built it. The most recent occupant bought the property back in 2005 for $2 million.
However, last summer Seaway Bank and Trust Co. foreclosed on the home, and now they’re trying to sell it off – presumably to someone who seeks safety at the end of the world, but doesn’t mind living in what, otherwise, seems like a rather drab part of town.
Also known as metro Las Vegas.
Mind you, there’s nothing overly horrible about the location – it’s conveniently close to downtown if you need it – but a little stroll around the block using Google street view reveals that the neighborhood is kind of boring, and the house actually faces an ugly office building and a bunch of power lines.
On the plus side, I did locate a 7-Eleven less than a mile away. And, in a pinch, those delicious spinning meat tubes at the counter should be able to withstand the apocalypse for at least a decade or two.
“Son, distract the zombies. I’m sending your mother out for more taquitos.”
Though I’m sure he didn’t consider proximity to convenience stores, Henderson was, nevertheless, a big believer in underground living in general. Before his Vegas compound, he lived in a similar-style home in the ‘60s near Boulder, Colorado.
Eventually, he even co-founded Underground World Home Corporation to build these subterranean dwellings for others, and he presented the idea at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York with the slogan: How would you like sunshine every day… when you want it?
Of course, we all do. That’s why we have Prozac and whiskey.
But if you fear the end of days and want to enjoy your final hours in a weird underground time capsule from the ‘70s, all this can be yours.
Or you can just hunker down with me.
You’ll love my garbage disposal.
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