Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,189 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Margaret Cho Speaks out About Childhood Sexual Abuse: Bullies Said 'You Deserve to be Raped'
- Read the Cover Story: The Kennedy Family's Darkest Secret
- Kate Hudson Snuggles Up to Jennifer Aniston in Selfie, Starts Campaign to Get Her on Instagram
- Emily Ratajkowski on Her Nude Scenes: I Was Never Aware of My Body Being Super-Sexual
- Yolanda Foster Continues Lyme Disease Treatmen to 'Get That Brain Back in Gear'
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- December 11, 1995
- Vol. 44
- No. 24
The Cold War Over, the Pedens Settle into a Kansas Missile Silo and Call It Home
"This place was built on a fear-based theory that the world needed a destructive force to remain free," says Edward, 48, a former high school history teacher who now manufactures ultralight aircraft. "It's very different now." Indeed it is. Eleven years after they bought the missile launch site for $40,000, Edward and his wife, Dianna, 41, a speech therapist in the Topeka school system, and their two daughters, Heather, 10, and Ashley, 12, are comfortably ensconced in the once-cavernous space. So far it has, among other things, a kitchen, dining room, TV room and four bedrooms.
It was not, obviously, your typical fixer-upper. First the Pedens had to pump out 8½ feet of rainwater that had collected on the floor of the installation. They caulked the roof—a 400-ton concrete-and-steel retractable ceiling panel—placed a few lawn chairs and a barbecue grill on top of it and called it a patio. In lieu of windows, they built a 128-square-foot skylight. They also added two towers, accessible from inside the home, that give them views that a more conventional above-ground house would have.
The interior, with 18,000 square feet and 15-foot ceilings, was an even greater challenge. So far they have carved out 2,300 square feet of living area, some of it loft space. Along one wall, near where the children plan to set up a trampoline, runs a 6'-wide, 3'-deep trench that used to function as a cooling bath for the Atlas engines. "I think this could be a nice little wading pool," says Peden. The couple left the bathroom as it was, with two toilets—"his and hers," says Peden. The adjoining missile bay is where Ed builds ultralight planes—which can be flown from a mile-long airstrip that came with the property.
Although electric bills run between $140 and $270 a month, the home is fuel-efficient. Being underground, it stays comfortable during the summer, and the Pedens get by with a wood stove for heat in the winter.
The Pedens' home is one of nine launch sites built—at a cost of tens of millions—in eastern Kansas in the 1950s. The missile that used to live here was put on alert only once, during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. By 1965 the Atlas E had become obsolete, and the installations were decommissioned.
Some of the silos were sold to farmers or salvage companies. One is now a school. The Pedens believe they are the first to complete a residential conversion. To make sure the silo's aura was peaceful, says Dianna, the couple enlisted the help of a tribal medicine woman to purge any "bad or negative energy" that might have been left behind by the Atlas.
These days, the Pedens, who have taken options on two other silos, receive visitors "from all across the world interested in this property," says Ed. "We have people who want to use this place to raise snails and one lady who thought it would be perfect for breeding parrots, because of all the room. I like to think," he adds, "that we are kind of like pioneers."
TIM DRAPE near Dover
- Tim Drape.
September 03, 2015
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!