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In 1953, A Hollywood Contractor built a House for Atomic Age

Hal B. Hayes, a Hollywood contractor, built a home that included an automatic decontamination swimming pool in 1953. By diving into the pool, you could access the underground sanctuary he had made on the hillside next to the swimming pool.

His house was built to “bring the outdoors indoors” for peaceful living, yet to withstand great destructive forces. The house’s exterior surface is made of granite and has a fluted design to prevent shock waves. The walls were made entirely of glass that would be swept away by a powerful shock wave but could be replaced later. His living room rug was pulled up by pressing a button to shroud the glass wall in that room.

Gardening in half a foot of soil on a flat roof provides insulation against extreme heat and shock. Inside and outside the house, all exposed wood was made of fire-resistant redwood coated with fire-retardant paint. Additionally, a bombproof shelter was in place, consisting of a large steel-and-concrete vault with a sitting room and bathroom. The underground sanctuary was equipped with bottled oxygen. There is also a three-story indoor tree in the home.

#1 Fireplace in front yard is built into side of hill. Lava appearance of hill comes from stippled Gunite.

Fireplace in front yard is built into side of hill. Lava appearance of hill comes from stippled Gunite.

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#2 Television set is built into huge tree trunk fitted into wall of living room. Dials are mounted at side.

Television set is built into huge tree trunk fitted into wall of living room. Dials are mounted at side.

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#3 Tree trunks and limbs are used for furniture, here support the glass top of table which Hayes is using.

Tree trunks and limbs are used for furniture, here support the glass top of table which Hayes is using.

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#4 Solid wall is fluted to resist shock waves. Fragile glass front could be replaced easily after blast.

Solid wall is fluted to resist shock waves. Fragile glass front could be replaced easily after blast.

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#5 Cutaway shows approach to underground sanctuary via swimming pool.

Cutaway shows approach to underground sanctuary via swimming pool.

Hayes figures that any radio-active contamination on a person's body would be washed off while swimming to the entrance of the sanctuary.

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#6 Pieces of driftwood against backgrounds of swirled linoleum paste form striking decoration in master bedroom.

Pieces of driftwood against backgrounds of swirled linoleum paste form striking decoration in master bedroom.

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#7 Smoke from midroom fireplace is caught by umbrella canopy, drawn up the chimney by fan mounted inside.

Smoke from midroom fireplace is caught by umbrella canopy, drawn up the chimney by fan mounted inside.

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#8 Tree inside house extends full three stories, here passes through large floor window of louvered glass.

Tree inside house extends full three stories, here passes through large floor window of louvered glass.

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#9 Main entrance of house is through tunnel visible at left. Glass walls at right protect an orchid grotto.

Main entrance of house is through tunnel visible at left. Glass walls at right protect an orchid grotto.

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#10 Car is parked on cantilevered steel tracks which overhang cliff below house. Space is at a premium.

Car is parked on cantilevered steel tracks which overhang cliff below house. Space is at a premium.

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#11 Bomb shelter in the house itself has strong steel shutters which can be closed in case of air attack.

Bomb shelter in the house itself has strong steel shutters which can be closed in case of air attack.

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Written by Jacob Aberto

Sincere, friendly, curious, ambitious, enthusiast. I'm a content crafter and social media expert. I love Classic Movies because their dialogue, scenery and stories are awesome.

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