If you’re looking for another unique cold war home, you can’t get any better than this. Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson built a 6,000 square foot luxurious underground home near the Alexander Dawson (named after his father Alexander Dawson Henderson, along with the Alexander Dawson schools) buildings in Las Vegas where he lived . Henderson, made his fortune through various companies, including Avon cosmetics and Gulfstream aircraft, and was fascinated with the idea of living underground.
In an area where outdoor temperatures reach 115 degrees, the underground house concept in Las Vegas seems like a great idea. However, it was the threat of nuclear destruction during the cold war that was the primary motivation behind Jerry B. Henderson’s underground house.
In this fabulous house, you take an elevator down into the underground home 25 feet below ground. There is a main house, heated swimming pool with cascading waterfall, a guesthouse and walkways that give the illusion of being outdoors.
The computerized lighting system, which turns day into night – all with a touch of a button also boasts generators, dozens of air conditioning units and all the comforts of home. The underground home was featured on the Travel Channel in 2003. Jewell Smith painted the murals.
When Henderson met the brothers Swayze, Kenneth and Jay, two building contractors from Plainview, Texas, who had pioneered the concept of full-time underground homes, he also pursued the idea as a business venture. Henderson contracted the Swayzes to build him his first underground house on his 320-acre property near Boulder, Colo., in 1964, the same year he married Mary.
They formed Underground World Homes, a company devoted to the concept. Henderson sponsored the Underground Home Exhibit at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair (check out the fantastic brochure here) – and although the company failed, this house lives on as a testament of his commitment to the idea.
Although after Jerry died, Mary Henderson had the boulders on the surface of their underground home in Las Vegas removed and a regular-style house built on top of the underground home, both homes are now available for sale. for a cool 1.6 million dollars, well under the last sale price.
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