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DC Blog

Home subterranean home

Author Susan Roy has a new book out, “Bomboozled: How The US Government Misled Itself And Its People Into Believing They Could Survive a Nuclear Attack." And how did people believe they could survive? By building presumably nuke-proof bunker homes. Her inspiration for the book came from none other than the famous underground home in Las Vegas:

Roy, a former Managing Editor at Allure who took a hiatus from the magazine world to obtain a masters in architectural history from Columbia, became interested in the subject after seeing photographs of a “subterranean ranch home” in a 2003 issue of Nest.

That home, which still stands 25 feet below a two-story structure on a corner lot in Las Vegas, features a guesthouse, swimming pool, backyard and barbecue, as well as artificial lighting to simulate a "warm, sunny day" or a "crystal clear night." The project was the brainchild of architect Jay Swayze, a pioneer of elaborate, underground shelters, and he finished it some time in the early 1980s. An exhaust pipe extending a few feet above ground is the only evidence that the place still exists today.

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