Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, as the Cold War raged on, a number of American families built bomb shelters in their own yards. The shelters ranged in scale from rudimentary holes in the ground to elaborate multi-chamber dwellings, complete with sleeping quarters and enough storage space for months of food and provisions.
The original owners of this genteel Pacific Palisades estate, built in 1952, installed a notably spacious bomb shelter that was built into a rock formation on the 1.12-acre estate’s grounds, well away from the main house. More than 60 years later, with the Cold War now little more than a distant memory, the shelter remains.
Of course, nearly everything else about the property has changed since then. In 2012, the main house was essentially demolished, before being rebuilt and enlarged under the guidance of acclaimed architect Marc Appleton. And in the past two years alone, the property has sold twice — both times for well over $20 million. In summer 2021, it was acquired by a Texas-based woman named Rita Deleone, who paid $25.5 million for the elegant spread. Deleone subsequently did some renovating, installing a new swimming pool and motorcourt, before flipping the place back up for sale with a lofty $37.5 million ask.
After multiple price chops, the estate finally sold this year for a heavily discounted $24.5 million, a $1 million loss for the seller before renovation costs, realtor commissions and maintenance are factored into the equation. The new owners are married philanthropists Gaurav and Sharon Srivastava, he the chairman of both security consultancy firm Unity Resources Group and global food trading giant Harvest Commodities.
Today, the rustic-chic main house — a luxe farmhouse, as the listing called it — includes hardwood floors, multiple stone fireplaces and vaulted ceilings with exposed wood beams. Also on tap are a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen, a vast great room, media room and a master suite ensconced in its own private wing, complete with dual marble bathrooms.
There are two additional structures on the property: a two-story pool house containing two guest bedroom suites and its own kitchen. There’s also a formerly traditional guesthouse, which now functions as a standalone gym, complete with a sauna and massage facilities.
Outside, the estate’s grounds are spectacularly lush, complete with fruit orchards, a vegetable garden, a bocce ball court and even a batting cage. Gated and refined, the estate sits at the end of a private cul-de-sac, well removed from the hustle and bustle of L.A. life.
While the bomb shelter remains intact, it has been transformed into a standalone wine storage facility, complete with space for hundreds of bottles, several tasting tables, a TV and comfy plaid chairs. So while bomb threats are no longer quite so prevalent, you might say the shelter still makes for a good place to get bombed.