Somewhere in the old Cincinnati-Dayton Defense Area that spans Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana sits a $1.5 million “man cave.” I made my way to the site on a warm fall morning with Google Maps and GPS coordinates supplied by my real estate advisers, Matthew and Leigh Ann Fulkerson of 20th Century Castles, LLC. Built in a decommissioned Nike missile site, the residence boasts a kitchen, four bedrooms, two baths, an exercise room, indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, and an elevator for lowering the owner’s classic automobiles below the surface. On clear days, the doors that once exposed anti-ballistic missile for launch can be opened to let sunshine penetrate the otherwise dimly lit basement.

A lot of effort has been made by the current owner to cheer things up: a Care Bears mural graces a wall in one of the bedrooms, a building on the 14-plus-acre property has been converted into a white and red horse barn. But there are touches — such as the blast door and L-shaped hallway for containing explosions — that betray the home’s former life as one of well over two hundred missile sites that ringed America’s cities, defending them from incoming Soviet bombers.