House of the Week: Missile Silo Home
127 Standish Rd, Saranac, NY
For sale: $750,000
There’s a saying that the only living things that could survive a nuclear explosion are cockroaches.
Them, and maybe whoever ends up living in this upstate New York home for sale.
Nestled up in the Adirondack Mountains, this $750,000 property listed on the Saranac real estate market has more to it than meets the eye because it was once home to a nuclear missile silo. Decommissioned in 1965, the home now incorporates the missile launch control center — 35 feet underground — into part of its living space. The command center was carved out of concrete and was designed to withstand a nuclear attack, or a “strong earthquake.”
Cold War Missile Installations
Following the emergence of space and missile technology in the beginning of the Cold War, the United States government began developing the Atlas missile system. In total there were six different kinds of Atlas missiles, designated A through F. Each were placed in several different missile bases throughout the U.S., including several in upstate New York.
In this Saranac home, the Atlas F missile was contained in an underground missile silo that was connected to the underground missile launch control center. Built out of concrete mixed with epoxy resin and 600 tons of steel re-bar, each Atlas F structure was considered to be one of the “strongest structures built by man.”
After the silos were decommissioned in 1965 and determined to be free of any nuclear radioactivity, much of the land was auctioned off by the government, including this missile home, which was purchased by the present owners about 20 years ago.
The two owners spent the next two decades transforming the silo into livable space, complete with a decoy house sitting on top of the control center and a private 2,050 paved airstrip right in front of the home.
“The home is a super structure,” said Mike Franklin, one of the three Sotheby agents that hold the listing. “You fly in, park your airplane, go into the house and into this closet. You go down the stairs and you come to a blast-proof, 2,000-pound steel door and you’re in the command center.”
While the home above contains 2,000-square-feet of living space with bedroom and kitchen, the main living area — about 3,000-square-feet — is within the command center, some 40 feet below ground.
The top level of the command center is the kitchen and living room, and the bottom levels contain bedrooms and bathrooms. From the bottom level and through a set of steel doors, you can access the 185-foot deep silo where the Atlas F missile was kept.
From the photos, some of the living areas look perfectly normal — if you ignore the lack of visibility to the outside.
Franklin explains that there are “windows” underground with lighting to mimic outdoor light but what he thinks the truly unusual thing about the home is the lack of noise.
“It’s so quiet in there,” Franklin said. “It’s really bizarre.”
If you like the quiet — and perhaps don’t mind living underground — the home has many of the features any luxury home would have: a marble-tiled Jacuzzi shower, enormous master suite and gourmet kitchen.
The property includes a paved FAA-approved airstrip, with room for expansion, and 19 acres. The surrounding land is subdivided and also available for sale.
The unusual property has received quite bit of press as well as interest. Franklin says the most unusual interested buyer came from someone looking to use it as the set for a reality TV show.