It was built as an Atlas E missile structure in the early 1950s, in response to the threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. These ephemeral bases were operated by the Air Force in the early 1960s, and the structure, one of nine around Topeka, was decommissioned in 1965 in favor of newer technology and more robust facilities. .
As the structures disappear, this silo is still pretty darn solid. Built to withstand bomb blasts, it is made of epoxy resin-based concrete and heavy rebar.
After use by the military, the list in question was turned over to a salvage company who further dismembered the property. This left the site, which cost the government $ 3.3 million to build, in a sorry state.
The current owners purchased the property in the early 1980s.
“It had been vacant for some time,” said the listing agent, Trent Siegle with Midwest Land Group.
Some areas were filled with at least 8 feet of water, but the eventual owner of the bunker did their due diligence before purchasing. He explored the underground space with a canoe and a flashlight, even diving into it, before deciding to embark on the huge underground project.
After the purchase, the first priority was to dry the space. It took 22 hours for a powerful water pump to drain more than a million gallons of liquid below the Earth’s surface. It then took 80 wheelbarrow trips to clean the space of “mud and grime,” Siegle notes.
Once the area was cleared, the owners set to work building their underground lair. What they called Subterra Castle includes underground living quarters, a workshop and an event space that they have called home for more than three decades.
The property is accessed by a half mile driveway and the complex is protected by an 8 foot secure fence.
The basement offering includes six bedrooms, three bathrooms and approximately 6,500 square feet. Space is a godsend, but a buyer will have to get used to the lack of natural light.
However, there is plenty of sunlight in the above ground one bedroom residence. Before the pandemic, the above-ground unit was busy as a popular Airbnb.
A new owner could continue the vacation rental business, or even turn the whole place into a “one-stop-shop,” as the listing suggests.
Above ground, the property features two watchtowers designed as castle turrets, a Quonset building, a 450-foot guard’s cabin, and even a Stonehenge-type ceremonial stone circle with a hearth, used for events in outdoors.
The land also includes a grass airstrip, a pond, orchards and green spaces, as well as a passive solar greenhouse with a hot tub.
A spiral staircase leads down to the underground living room, which includes a stage, a large room, two kitchens, a dining room, four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
A wood stove warms the space. It was not necessary to add air conditioning, given the 18 inch thick walls and ceilings and 36 inch floors.
The 47-ton blast door leads to the site that housed the missile, which now serves as a workshop. An underground tunnel connects the workshop to the living quarters.
The owners have preserved the control room, signage, and other artifacts from the structure’s former life as a military outpost. A corridor presents press clippings from past years on the quirky home.
Salespeople are at an age where they are ready to cut down and simplify, and now is the time to start a new chapter, with new owners.
The property, located in a pasture 30 miles outside of Topeka, offers the ultimate escape from a hectic world.
Once you go down the stairs and enter the old silo, “There is no cell service. There are no windows, ”says Siegle. “You are in your own little world. “