It only took 25 years, but Mr. Ed Peden finally opened his “garage” door. The door weighs in at a whopping 47 tons. Behind that door was an Atlas missile. The door had been designed in the hopes that, should there ever be a nuclear explosion, the door would remain intact.
This door now leads into Mr. Peden’s home, which used to be a complex meant for missile launches, buried deep beneath the ground. The home is located about 25 miles from Topeka, and Mr. Peden and his wife were the first people ever to convert one of these bunkers into an actual home. Now, they spend their time helping other people do the same thing. It’s nearly incredible to believe that the United States government spent over $4 million to construct this building, and that Mr. Peden was able to purchase it and the surrounding land for a mere $40,000. Of course, much had to be done before it was actually considered livable.
Everything that had been inside had to be hauled away before renovations could even begin. In fact, sheet rock had actually melted into blobs on the floor because, at one point, the whole underground complex had been flooded with just under ten feet of water. Mr. Peden’s first glimpse inside what would become his home was done via canoe. Today, it looks very different from what he saw then in 1982.
At the south end of the complex lies what used to be the missile launching bay. It is now empty. The concrete walls are a foot-and-a-half-thick; the floors are three-feet-thick. A hole within the floor leads down to what used to be the flaming pit: where the exhaust produced by the missile upon launch would be funneled outside through a port. This hole is about the size of a tunnel on the freeway.
To find out more, or to schedule a tour, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Peden and his wife enjoy giving tours of their home, but there are no set hours of operation, hence they do not give out their address until confirmation.