What Happens Underground Stays Underground

3970 Spencer St., Las Vegas, NV 89119

Great find by a reader. If this home looks a bit… odd to you, that would be because it sits in a man-made cave 26 feet underground. Currently on the market for $1.6 million. The listing photos are garbage though, so the photos in this post come from a great piece over at Vegas Inc.

3970 Spencer St., Las Vegas, NV 89119

I love the “life-like” murals painted on the walls.

3970 Spencer St., Las Vegas, NV 89119

So you can remember what life was like before the bomb.

3970 Spencer St., Las Vegas, NV 89119

Gotta love the decor inside, too. No, I mean you seriously gotta love it because the whole world has been decimated and you’re literally never going to be able to replace it.

3970 Spencer St., Las Vegas, NV 89119

The idyllic kitchen is a nice touch, too.

For the full high-res photo set head over to Vegas Inc. For more about this home, check out this post on Messy Nessy Chic.

Found by: Deborah Gibson

About the Author

Marty E.
Naked Loon Editor-in-Chief

9 Comments on "What Happens Underground Stays Underground"

  1. I’m guessing that this would be the survival shelter of a very paranoid, very, very rich, and very, very, VERY claustrophobic person, eh?

    Well, do what it takes and move on, that’s my motto… and one suspects that that is why this amazing property is on the market: because that very special person has moved on. Nice to think the heirs are either not similarly afflicted or have more pressing needs. :D

  2. It looks state-of-the art for 1978. I’m wondering if you could get enough supplies down there to redecorate.

    It’s also fully on the grid. If the grid goes down, you are in the dark, out of water, and have sewage backing up.

    Also, I think it’s funny that they had the cash to put the house in the ground, but left the HVAC units topside in the sun. What are they doing, heating it because it’s too cool down there?

    I wonder about a fire escape also when those dusty drapes and carpets catch fire from aged appliances or the fireplace. I doubt the ventilation will be enough. They have to go up through the smoke to get out. Not a good plan.

  3. Vitamin D…need…vitamin D….no…sunshine….


  4. Immediate impression – OK, so it’s the set for Brendan Fraser’s “Blast From The Past.” And….? Wait, it’s *not* a movie set? (O_o)

    Sooo not a good plan for many reasons, Frodo. What’s the point of being underground during/after a nuclear apocalypse if you’re getting all your air from topside? Unless you’ve got serious scrubbers and/or re-breather technology (as in tankless scuba diving) you’ll just die all the more slowly. Even if there’s not a mushroom cloud party upstairs you’re gonna have to worry about radon downstairs. Did they even know about the dangers of radon in the ’70s?

    As for redecorating (and emergency escapes), pics and videos at the various links show decently proportioned stairways and elevators, so bringing in things… anything – PLEASE… to replace what’s there wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Accommodating today’s heavy reliance on electronics and internet access might be a tougher sell. Wifi or cell phones? Fuhgeddaboudit.

    Anodean, according to the links the builder/owner and his wife both died in the 1980s. He had been on the boards of both Avon and Gulfstream, hence the moolah. He started with a “healthy living underground” concept at the ’64 World’s Fair. Given it was only a couple years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, I can’t say as I blame him for trying to do something to be prepared for the long haul. Things didn’t get better for at least 25 years, around the time the poor guy died. Never did live to see his concept made passé, at least from nukes rather than climate change. A relative owned it for a while after that, then it was sold, but that buyer lost it to foreclosure last year.

    The builder did, however, outlive the interior stylings chosen for his little get-away place. Good Gods In Heaven What The Hell Were They Thinking?! I’d call it hideous, but that would be a disservice to other hideous creations. All the more sad because the “exterior” is so awesome. I don’t know if it would really be a psychological help once you got past the idea of it being anything other than 2D images, but it’s nicely done, all the same. They’ve even included imaginary neighbors and neighboring towns. And I just love the touch of the original couple’s names “carved” in side a heart on one of the “trees.”

    I did find a couple of other interesting bits at the VegasInc link. Clicking on the View Gallery will get you an enlarged screen with 48 images. (Honestly, if you think the ones above are bad… the master bath alone will give you nightmares!) I’m wondering about the kitchen doohickey in Pic 14… what the heck is it? It’s near the in-the-wall-toaster (hello kitchen fires made easy) and it appears to also be some sort of electronic control center, but for what? Also, I do kinda like the Flintstones BBQ, lol. It’s in Pics 34 and 35.

  5. From one of the photos on “Messy Nessy,” a close-up of a hole in the artificial lawn, it appears that they have also installed an artificial gopher, perhaps as an adjunct to their four-hole golf course. One hopes that they did not install an artificial Bill Murray to hunt said gopher, otherwise their time in the “emergency shelter” may become more emergency and less shelter.

    And that would definitely be the cat on the cupcakes.

  6. Thanks, Em! On observation, I’d guess that the dohickey built into the kitchen’s center island is a broiler unit, situated under the strong vent – especially since the pictures you led me to find suggest that that’s a vintage Amana microwave oven built into the wall, stacked on top of a conventional oven.

    It would be a crime to change a thing. Just fix the curtain valance that’s hanging down, locate the furniture, and curate it.

    JMixx, you’re going to kill me with that, I just know it. :D

  7. @anodean: Umm… Not sure what you’re looking at, but it’s not what I was asking about. Pic 14 of the photo gallery at the VegasInc link shows something on one of the regular countertops along the wall. The upright portion is white plastic with oodles of writing. It looks like it may fold down into the counter top, into a possible cavity that can be see just in front of it, surrounded by a metal plate.

    I hadn’t notice the full screen option yesterday. Using it I see the thing is labeled “Ronson Foodmatic Preparation Center,” with timer and speed dials. Still can’t read the rest of the print. My husband took a look and he thinks it’s some sort of scale. It looks right, but it doesn’t jive with the lingo. Just how does this thing prepare food? It’s definitely got a Jetson-y feel to it, but I’ll be damned if I can figure exactly what it does or how…

    Wait… the good ol’ internet just turned up this: “It is a built-in food processor that recesses below the kitchen counter when not in use.” (http://www.kitchencookingrecipes.com/forum/kitchen-equipment-forum/137952-ronson-foodmatic-preparation-center-sale.html) A small photo and a bit more info is here: http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-ronson-foodmatic-food-130796328

    Well, that solves that mystery!

  8. @Emerald63: Ah! Sorry, wrong picture. Hmm… you had me at “Ronson.” :D

  9. @anodean: Forget not, that Ronson and Ronco are not the same! Ronson started out making lighters in the 1880s and eventually parlayed that into other helpful items, like the one seen here. Ronco claimed to make helpful items, though I have no idea if any of the ‘O-Matic items ever really did what they were supposed to.


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