Boise Bomb Shelter Is On The Market for $2.1 Million
Last week, I got sucked down the rabbit hole when I was looking at million dollar homes on Zillow. I stumbled across one that made me Google the address to find out exactly what it was because it certainly looks different from the other luxury homes.
The property at 600 W Curling Dr in Boise is listed as a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 14,000 square foot home with an asking price of $2,100,000. Upon further investigation, I realized it's not exactly your typical home at all. The property is actually now known as "The Boise Bomb Shelter" and was constructed during the Cold War.
According to an article from The Idaho Daily Statesman dated July 1960, Idaho was selected to become home to the first prototype community civil defense shelter in the United States by the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization.
The Idaho Architecture Project explains that the project, designed to save 1,000 people in the event of an attack, was controversial as it was only available to those living in the wealthy Boise Highlands neighborhood on the edge of the foothills. Inez Robb's article in the Lewiston Evening Journal revealed the membership fee for families in the neighborhood ran $100 and over 175 families were part of the initial wave of folks to take advantage of having access to the shelter in case of nuclear fall out following atomic war. The plan was to bar outsiders from accessing the property by force.
Once construction was completed, the shelter included a 60x80 ft. room that included a kitchen with electric stoves, dish washers, steam tables and an big assortment of tableware. It was equipped with generators in the event of an atomic bomb cut Boise's regular electrical system. These generators would also be essential to producing more water, if needed, than the shelter's own water supply could produce. The fist floor was also home to a loudspeaker system that could play records throughout the building.
On the lower floor, you could find another large room for sleeping/living and smaller rooms that could be modified to create a hospital with it's own O.R. and pharmacy. Communication rooms equipped with phone, storage rooms, more bathrooms, decontamination showers and a manual laundry room were on the bottom floor as well.
As I'm sure you know, bombs never fell on Boise and by 1972, it became property of the Boise Independent School District. The school district removed many of the features meant to preserve life in the wake of nuclear holocaust and used it primarily for storage and archives. With new offices completed, the school district no longer needed it by 2001.
According to Idaho News, the current owner, Jon Farren, bought it at auction to use asoffice space. He eventually decided to offer the unused areas as studio space for musicians looking for a place to rehearse without disturbing others. The rehearsal spaces are almost always full so he hopes who ever buys the bomb shelter next.
We'd love to show you more photos of the property, but unfortunately the only known video of the tour posted to YouTube has been removed. These are the photos from the shelter's Zillow listing. Idaho News does have some more recent photos in their recent profile on how Jon's repurposed the bomb shelter.