Archive for Las Vegas underground house

Living La Subterranean Las Vegas Vida

Posted in Adventures and Interludes, Life Performance Art, Obsessions, Pest Control, Science? with tags , , on December 21, 2008 by Admin
As salmony-pink as the living room is beigy-beige, such is the bedroom in the underground house.

As salmony-pink as the living room is beigy-beige, such is the bedroom in the underground house.

ALL IMAGES HAVE BEEN SCANNED WITHOUT PERMISSION BY MY ANONYMOUS MONKEY ASSISTANT AND FOR WHOM I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE, AND HAVE NEVER MET.

As published in NEST, A Quarterly of Interiors, Spring 2003

What with the weather and all that, it seems like the perfect time for an underground house. While snow or tornados and other extreme weathers swirl above, you could be comfy swimming in your non-chlorinated pool (for algae does not grow underground) and having a cookout while the smoke is funneled out through the pipe that runs up through the fake hollowed out ‘tree’ behind it.

Imagine calling up your friends and saying, “Come on over for the weekend and stay till they plow us out above. We have a well-stocked fridge and a new recipe for shish-ke-bob that will amaze you! Bring the scrabble, grab your bathing suits…”. And yes. there isn’t often snow in Vegas but this year they did have snow and, as things go, that snow stayed in Vegas.

This all may or may not be what Gerald Henderson was thinking back in the late 60s when he began construction on his underground home, which is accessed by an elevator that takes one 25 feet underground via an old mineshaft. Above ground all one can see is a wrought iron fence and a rock garden and then one enters a small ‘house’, which (it is not exactly clear from the article) appears to be mainly an above-ground door and hallway, leading to the elevator.

The Underground Las Vegas House with view of the patio. Click for larger view.

The Underground Las Vegas House with view of the patio. Click for larger view.

Gerald Henderson was a longtime board member of Avon, and “a pioneer in the nascent Cold War-era discipline of subterranean architecture.” He was a bit paranoid, did not much like people and feared radioactive fallout. He built two other such homes in Switzerland and Colorado which are reportedly no longer standing. There is no mention of why those other two are no longer standing however, and I wonder at that why behind dismantling such an architectural feat, particularly since there are times when being underground seems such a great idea.

The Underground Las Vegas House with view of the yard and pool. Click for larger view.

The Underground Las Vegas House with view of the yard and pool. Click for larger view.

Anyway, according to the article, algae does not grow underground and so no chlorine is needed for the pool. The walls are murals painted to resemble Gerald’s childhood home in New Jersey as well as his sheep ranch in New Zealand. The muralist, Jewel Smith from Plainview, Texas, lived in a cottage in Continue reading

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