What would you put in your fallout shelter?

It’s one of the more fascinating questions of the 20th century. During the Cold War, millions of people had to consider the possibility that they would live underground for years while nuclear winter war raged above them. People began to build their own fallout shelters in their back yards, and stocked them with the essentials needed to survive for a long period of time. (Spam.)

But then there’s Jerry B. Henderson.

Henderson was a business executive who ran the Avon corporation, among others. He was also a champion of the “underground living” movement, which encouraged people not only to build their own fallout shelters, but to build them in style.

Today, we’re looking at photos from the fallout shelter he built beneath his Las Vegas home, and his attempt to take his 1970’s life of luxury into the bunker with him.

1. The house above

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

Here’s the house where Jerry and his second wife Mary lived. Aside from a few ventilation shafts you’d have no idea there’s a 15,200 square foot bunker below.

2. The house below

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

Yes, not only did he build an actual house inside the bunker, he build a lawn with fake grass, fake trees, fake rocks, and even a fake sky.

3. The lawn

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

How weird was it for the guys Jerry hired to build all this?

4. The town?!?!

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

Jerry even had someone paint the walls of his bunker to look like a landscape, complete with mountains and a little town.

5. R&R

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

The lawn area surrounding the bunker house included a putting green and a swimming pool. A swimming pool! I have so many questions…Wouldn’t that waste a lot of water? How did he plan to clean it? WAS HE PLANNING ON BRINGING A LIFEGUARD DOWN THERE WITH HIM?

6. The pool

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

In case you weren’t depressed enough already.

7. This fountain

Photo Credit: Messy Nessy Chic

These things creep me out even when they’re not next to an underground apocalypse house.

8. This owl

Photo Credit: Messy Nessy Chic

Hey, you gotta have someone to talk to, otherwise you’ll go crazy down there.

9. Entering the house

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

That place is huge! Plenty of room to spread out, or entertain all your imaginary friends.

10. The bedroom

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

In case you forgot when this bunker was built. By law, every house built in the 70’s had to have one loud pink room.

11. Another bedroom

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

I’m imagining the conversation he had with the guy at the wallpaper store…

HENDERSON: I need a wallpaper that’ll help me forget 99% of the human population just died.

WALLPAPER GUY: Um…this flower pattern is nice.

12. The kitchen

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

JERRY: When future civilizations find my bunker, they will know we were tacky!

13. The bathroom

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

You’d think, given the chance to rebuild society from scratch, you’d do away with carpeted bathrooms. I guess Jerry likes being GROSS.

14. The tub

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

Whirlpool jets. He put WHIRLPOOL JETS in his apocalypse hot tub. “Hey, honey, I know the surface is deadly radioactive, and there’s those gangs of mutant murderers running around, but would you mind going up and finding some oil for the generator? My lower back is KILLING me.”

15. The guest house

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

Did I mention there’s a guest house? There’s a freaking guest house!

To be fair, when the irradiated zombies show up, they’ll need a place to crash.

16. The grill

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

Seriously, what did he think he would be grilling? There’s no fresh meat any more. Unless you count the other people living in the fallout shelter with him. Definitely makes for an interesting 4th of July cookout.

17. Feliz Navidad!

Photo Credit: So Bad So Good

Aww! He even included Christmas lights! You gotta admire the optimism this guy had, to want to keep celebrating Christmas after the bombs fell.

Heck, a Christmas like that doesn’t sound much worse than some Christmases I’ve had.



h/t: the always excellent So Bad So Good and Messy Nessy Chic