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
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
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
How weird was it for the guys Jerry hired to build all this?
4. The town?!?!
Jerry even had someone paint the walls of his bunker to look like a landscape, complete with mountains and a little town.
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
In case you weren’t depressed enough already.
7. This fountain
These things creep me out even when they’re not next to an underground apocalypse house.
8. This owl
Hey, you gotta have someone to talk to, otherwise you’ll go crazy down there.
9. Entering the house
That place is huge! Plenty of room to spread out, or entertain all your imaginary friends.
10. The bedroom
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
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
JERRY: When future civilizations find my bunker, they will know we were tacky!
13. The bathroom
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
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
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
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!
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.