During the Cold War in the early sixties, the US government built 72 missile silos to protect an extremely powerful nuclear warhead. They didn’t use them for decades, however, so officials destroyed most of them. That being said, a few of these bunkers remain, including one that has been converted into a three million dollar doomsday condo.
A Look Inside the 3 Million Dollar Doomsday Condo
The exact location of this doomsday condo remains a secret, but we do know that it is somewhere north of Wichita, Kansas. The massive underground structure is fifteen stories deep with walls that are nine feet thick- enough to withstand a nuclear impact. The entire space is large enough to house 75 people and has enough resources to sustain them for five years.
This structure, however, is nothing like what probably comes to your mind when you think of a doomsday bunker. It is actually quite luxurious, and contains all of the following:
- Redundant electric sources, so there will always be enough power, no matter what happens.
- Common areas with TVs, couches, pool tables, etc.
- A full WholeFoods-style grocery store.
- A Movie Theatre
- Fully-furnished individual condos for each family with kitchens, laundry, large bedrooms, and closets.
- An indoor pool.
- A rock-climbing wall.
- A gym.
- A medical facility.
- A gun range
- An aquaponic and hydroponic farming system
- A dog park
- A games room
- A library 
The Man Behind the Plan
The owner of the facility is a man named Larry Hall. He is a former government contractor, property developer, and a doomsday prepper. He also has a master’s degree in business. He’s designed the weapons database for an air force surveillance plane and constructed hardened data centers.
In many ways, he is the perfect person to take on a project such as this. Thus, designing luxury doomsday condos for the uber-wealthy became his new schtick.
The US government spent fifteen million dollars building this particular silo in the sixties, and Hall bought it for three hundred thousand dollars. He had heard about the country’s wealthiest people burying doomsday bunkers beneath their vast estates and knew there was a market there.
Hall wanted to be certain that his bunker could sustain people for a long period of time. Thus, his team spent a cool twenty million dollars building this massive underground fortress.
“We said, ‘Hey, if we’re gonna build a high-end bunker, I’d hate to, like, need protection for two years and only have designed it for one and a half years.’ So we said, ‘What would we have to do to make this place capable of sustaining people indefinitely?’ And that turned out to be quite a cost-driver.” 
Studies in the 1960s found that when people spent extended time underground can impact people psychologically. This can include difficulties in concentration, irritability, depression, and personality disturbances. For this reason, Hall consulted with psychologists to ensure that he designed his doomsday condo so people could thrive, rather than simply survive.
Hall says that the way to do this is to create the illusion of normal life, and make people feel like they’re doing something.
“What you really wanna do is make sure that people feel productive, so you’re gonna need everyone to be working four-hour workdays, and every 30 days, people will rotate jobs so you don’t have any single points of failure and everybody knows how to do all of the jobs there.” 
This is where the supermarket comes in. Halls says the initial blueprints simply designated that level of the complex as “storerooms”. The psychologist, however, said that he had to make this level look like a miniature WholeFoods. If people had to spend months or years digging through cardboard boxes to get their food, they would all get depressed.
“So we will have people baking bread and making coffee, people can advertise their yoga class on the cafe blackboard, and we’re going to stack this deli case full of three different species of tilapia that are grown in the aquaponics facility next door,” he explained .
The Illusion of “Normal“
To make the place feel even more “normal” the doomsday condo has “windows” everywhere. Of course, they aren’t real windows but are actually LED screens. Hall has control over these images, which come from photos outside the bunker. He says that most people prefer to look out a window and know what time of day it is then see a beach in San Francisco.
“The psychologist drilled into me that my job is to make this place as normal as possible,” Hall says. “No one wants to be reminded all the time that they are basically living in a submarine.” 
A Safe and Protected Space
Of course, as any bunker would, this doomsday condo has a very sophisticated defense system built in. The facility contains three armories, with sniper rifles, automatic rifles, helmets, gas masks, and first aid kits. They also have non-lethal weapons, like military-grade pepper spray.
Outside the facility, there is a .223 remote-controlled rifle. You can operate this weapon from a control panel and a joystick. Thermal, night, and full-spectrum cameras can help you see your target. Alternatively, you can put the rifle into automated defense mode that fires three-round bursts at anything that comes into its view.
“We can also hit them with three-round bursts of paintballs,” he says. “That will make it clear what comes next, if they keep moving toward the condo.” 
Hall points out that this bunker was originally a weapon system. It was not a space of hope. What he and his team have done is turn it into a safe, self-contained experiment in architecture.
More Doomsday Condos to Come
Buyers purchased all of the apartments in Hall’s luxury doomsday condo before he had even finished building it. He says that all of their owners are, by definition, self-made millionaires. They come from different walks of life, but they all like the concept of having this safe harbor. He says they get peace of mind knowing that it’s there should they need it.
“It’s like they had this worry that they weren’t consciously aware of, but after they bought it, they realized that they feel like a burden has been lifted.” 
More and more people are looking to buy space in a structure like this as the world seems to become increasingly uncertain. For this reason, Hall and his team are in the process of building a second luxury doomsday condo that is three times the size of this one.
You may be asking, do we really need all this “luxury”? Hall has one answer for you:
“People want to know why residents need all this ‘luxury’ but what they don’t get is that this isn’t about luxury. This stuff is key to survival. If you don’t have all this stuff built in, you start to get varying degrees of depression or cabin fever.” 
- ““Inside A $3M Doomsday Condo”: This Is How A Luxury Survival Bunker Looks.” Bored Panda. Jonas Grinevičius and Justinas Keturka. 2020.
- “Inside a $3 million doomsday condo that can sustain 75 people for 5 years.” Business Insider. Steve Cameron and Melia Robinson. March 26, 2021
- “Weapons rooms, fake windows and a $3m price tag: inside a luxury doomsday bunker.” The Guardian. Bradley L Garrett. August 1, 2020.
This article originally appeared on The Hearty Soul in December 2020 and has been published here with permission.