Updated May 18, 2020 - 1:51 pm
A Las Vegas home designed in the 1970s as an underground shelter with a pool, terraces and a waterfall is back on the market — for $18 million.
As Americans sought safe places to shelter in the 1950s and ’60s during the Cold War and Cuban missile crisis, thousands of homeowners built backyard or basement shelters stocked to survive a missile attack that never came.
One of the most elegant doomsday bunkers is located in Las Vegas, built by Avon cosmetics executive Girard Henderson in 1978 about for $10 million.
The 5,000-square-foot house at 3970 Spencer St. in southeast Las Vegas was built 26 feet below ground inside a 15,000-square-foot bunker of steel-reinforced concrete. The traditional-style home retains the decor and design of the 1970s.
The sale also includes a 2,300-square-foot, two-bedroom above-ground house that serves as the entrance for the underground shelter.
The price includes all furnishings and a year of caretaking and upkeep. Stephan LaForge at the St. Rose Branch of Berkshire Hathaway in Las Vegas holds the listing.
It is featured this week at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.
LaForge said the current undisclosed owner bought the house for $1.15 million 2014 and has had the property for sale for about a year.
After Henderson died, the property sold for $1.3 million in 1990 and then $2 million in 2005 before the current owner took possession.
“The coronavirus might draw out the eccentric billionaire buyer who wants to hide out the situation in a bunker in Las Vegas,” LaForge said. “Just to dig the hole today would cost $1.5 million.”
The interior is still decked out with a well-designed 1970s kitchen, great room with beamed ceilings, a large stone fireplace and theater. It has two bedrooms and three baths. Lighting automatically changes from early morning to midday to evening. There also is a casita next to the main house.
Sliding glass doors lead to the “outdoor” space, which is carpeted with artificial grass and studded with various types of trees. It has a swimming pool, fountain, BBQ disguised as a boulder and hand-painted murals for views.
There is also a generator and a 1,000-gallon water tank.