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A $1.6 million house built completely underground

Posted by Kevin Hartnett  September 17, 2013 09:21 AM

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Good light and a southern exposure are normally big selling points in a house, but arguably the most novel property on the market in Las Vegas has neither: It's a massive, decadent, underground house built in 1978 as a refuge from a Cold War nuclear holocaust. In the Las Vegas Review-Journal, journalist F. Andrew Taylor explains that the house was built by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who made a fortune in business and went on to champion underground living. His underground home would have allowed him to wait out a nuclear war in style: It's nearly 17,000 square feet and has a dance floor, swimming pool, spa, and a putting green, and it's surrounded on all four sides by a faux lawn. The house has been on the market since 2001 and no buyer has emerged despite a price reduction from $8 million to $1.6 million. With the Cold War over, an underground house might seem more unnecessary than ever. But, the house is located just a few miles from the Las Vegas Strip which, while nothing compared to a nuclear flash, is still pretty bright in its own right.

You can read more about the house in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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Images courtesy of F. Andrew Taylor and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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