I-Team: Underground Las Vegas Home For Sale - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Underground Las Vegas Home For Sale

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LAS VEGAS -- One of the most recent home listings in Las Vegas is a 16,500 square foot home selling for $1.7 million. However, there is one major catch -- the home is underground.

The mysterious subterranean home is almost like a time capsule. The east Las Vegas property has been the subject of whispers for many years, but it has never been open to the general public.

It's part palace, part bomb shelter. From the street level, the house at 3970 Spencer St. doesn't stand out from its neighbors, but once you cruise through the iron gates, there are clues such as the 15 or so air conditioning units tucked behind boulders, the curious turbine-driven ventilation portals and the artificial trees.

"Mostly they are downstairs," said Winston King of Kingly Properties.

That's right, trees downstairs.

"You are standing on the roof," King said.

The 2,800 square foot house on the full acre lot is nice enough, but once you get past the magnetic doors, climb into an elevator that seems to drop through the earth, you emerge into a luxurious underground Shangri La which totals more than 16,000 square feet.

SLIDESHOW: Underground Las Vegas Home

The underground 6,000 square foot home sits in the center, surrounded by what looks like a plush backyard and patio. Original owner, philanthropist Jerry Henderson, gave millions to education thru his Alexander Dawson Foundation, but thought nuclear war was inevitable. So, in the late 60s he took a cue from the doomsday comedy Dr. Strangelove when Peter Sellers' character talks about an underground mineshaft, "You mean, people could actually stay down there for 100 years."

Henderson feared the world might blow up.

"So he built this for his family, an underground house. He said, 'hey, I'll be safe down here.' We're 26 feet underground," King said.

The place is bomb proof, quake proof, and even bug proof, a constant 78 degrees, even if it's a million or so degrees and radioactive up top. The concrete haven cost an estimated $10 million to build.

The wealthy Henderson's didn't cut corners. June Cleaver would be right at home in the large bright pink kitchen, which still has operational 20th century techno-marvels, such as a toaster in the wall.

The great room is complete with plush carpets and a wet bar for entertaining fellow survivors. About $1 million worth of Italian stone went into the working fireplace. The bathrooms have fixtures of gold and crystal. There is also an entertainment room, a massive master bedroom and ornate master bath with its own water supply and powerful generator. The food pantry seems to stretch on forever.

"When he originally built it, he estimated if there was a nuclear war, he could live down here for a year," King said.

It's not exactly clear when the house was built. Henderson's official bio says it was finished in 1971. Other accounts say it was finished in 1978.

To keep from going stir crazy below ground, Henderson created a lifelike yard with a swimming pool, two Jacuzzi's and a barbeque grill that's part Flintstones, part Jetsons because it vents out thru the artificial trees.

"Here is the putting green if you want to play golf," King added.

There is also a sauna, dance floor, stage and separate quest quarters. A Texas artist lived there for three years while she worked on the lifelike murals that surround the entire property with scenes from Jerry Henderson's life.

The lights can be changed to simulate morning, noon or night. Since the Cold War ended long ago, one might wonder, who would buy this place, other than a rich doomsday prepper?

"An entertainer. Someone in the music business because it would make a great studio. It's soundproof downstairs. Anybody who likes to hide away, anybody who likes privacy," King said.

See the House Listing

As recently as six years ago, the place was listed for $8 million. Now in foreclosure, it's a steal at $1.7 million, which includes the house above.

"It's only $100 a square foot. That's cheap for a house today."

Even if doomsday never happens, it could be one heck of a party house.

King said, a few companies have considered buying it as a place to stage corporate events or parties.

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