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Protect yourself from nuclear attack in this $1.5M Cold War radar tower

Fans of Brutalism, pay attention. Preppers, take note. A Cold War radar tower provides luxuries mansions couldn't include. Did you want windows with that?

Except for nuclear missile silos, it's harder to get more Cold War than this.

A radar tower built to withstand a nuclear attack. Fans of Brutalism may not find anything more brutal. Modern day preppers may have finally found a place in town (Blaine, WA in this case) that would shrug off earthquakes, lightning strikes, and most tsunamis. Finally, a safe haven with a good commute. It's listed at only $1,500,000. What price security? Well, evidently, now we know.

These basic stats are something different. Sure, it has 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, but those are arbitrary. The building is six stories tall, with one basement. That provides 20,420 square feet of 'living' space. There aren't many mansions that big. The walls are a foot thick and supported by three foot thick columns. If it isn't concrete, you can probably assume any wall isn't load bearing and can be demolished to create whatever space you want. Some houses brag about elevators. Few, if any, can handle 6,000 pounds. If it would fit, you could lift your car to any floor you wanted. It may be overkill for carrying up the groceries, but that's better than climbing stairs or ladders for several stories.

Radar towers need view property, by definition. From the roof you can see (or spy on) Vancouver. The mountains, the water, and the rest of Blaine wrap around you. The 70 ton radar dish is gone, but imagine the reception you can get from up there. With 60 foot square floors, your roof top deck is big enough for an entire house.

You might want to build on top because towers built to withstand nuclear attacks aren't known for niceties like expansive windows. Put a greenhouse up there and your crops will finally be safe from deer, bunnies, and slugs. The birds will still find outdoor plantings, though. Another option, skip the house or garden and install a wind turbine or solar sails (local regulations permitting, of course.) The foundation is certainly strong enough.

Check out those systems. They were designed to be robust; but it would be good to know if a plumber or electrician would need special training in old secret systems. It was a radar station, so none of the buttons should make something go boom. You also won't have to worry as much about termites, cockroaches, or rats - unless you bring them in.

Any noise you make stays inside, and any noise your neighbors make stays outside. The same goes for heat. Great insulation.

There is an outside. Around the grey block of a building is 0.71 acres of parkland that includes an outbuilding. You may want to consider living there for a while. Remodels won't be weekend events unless you enlist the troops. The house is filled with hundreds of thousands of items that need to be cleared. That will be a lot of trips in the elevator. Good thing it's big enough to handle it all.

As for resale, you may want to contact the Men In Black. It looks like just their kind of place.

Read Eric Lacitis' article for the story about the owner, someone whose story is as fascinating as the building.

· Five-story fixer-upper with a view: Radar tower for sale [BH]

· 7388 Gemini, Blaine [Windermere]