6 World-Famous Landmarks You Can Secretly Live Inside
Whether it was a theme park, a museum, or even that place that did the amazing barbecue ribs, we've all visited somewhere we wished we could stay in forever. Good news! You (or at least the richest person you've ever smelled) can totally live in some of the most famous buildings in the entire world. Hidden inside many iconic locations are secret apartments formerly used by tireless custodians, overworked managers, or just rich guys who needed a quiet place to cheat on their wives. And for the right price, you could call these eccentric dwellings home. Like ...
Walt Disney And His Family Lived In A Secret Disneyland Apartment
You might think one of the coolest places to sleep in Disneyland must be in the castle, or on the ship in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, or inside one of those oversized Goofy costumes. But there's a little-known dwelling right inside the entrance to the park in California that wasn't just fit for a princess, but for the king himself.
Why he didn't live in the actual castle is anyone's guess.
During the construction of Disneyland, Walt Disney figured that all that commuting between the studio, the park, and his mansion was too much of a hassle. So in order to remain onsite for as long as he wanted, he had a small apartment built atop one of the first Disneyland buildings: the firehouse at the entrance. It's hard to imagine rich and famous Disney living like a college kid in that small studio apartment, but unlike most college kids, Disney had the best interior decorators in the world working for him. He asked Academy-Award-winning set designer Emile Kuri to create his and his wife's ideal home ... which looks like Santa's parlor:
The columns are peppermint bark.
Built in the Victorian style of their youth, this little apartment was a way for the Disneys to go back to simpler times, before all that silly castle-building started. But there was at least one cool thing in the apartment: a fireman's pole which Walt and the kids could slide down into the firehouse. But the fun was ruined when one fan climbed up Walt's pole while his family was there to see it. His hole was covered up and never spoken of again.
Those last sentences were really too suggestive to be associated with anything Disney.
Like anything related to Disney, you can still have a look if you pay for a tour. And who wouldn't shell out a few bucks to witness firsthand the place where Walt Disney took a dump?
The Houston Astrodome Once Featured A Bona Fide Palace
When the Houston Astrodome, the first-ever domed football stadium, opened in 1965, it looked like it had crashed down from outer space. People were in awe of the dome, the air conditioning, and especially the AstroTurf. But little did they know that the most impressive part of "the Eighth Wonder of the World" was the kitschiest of '60s apartments known to man.
We think that's the presidential seal on the floor, and only the sexiest bachelor pads have those.
When crazy (rich) Texas judge Roy Hofheinz had the Astrodome built, he did what every seven-year-old would if they owned a space-age stadium: He lived in it. Hofheinz had an apartment spanning seven floors built inside the stadium itself, but that was only the start of his eccentricity. Besides the standard crazy rich people additions, like a bowling alley and a putting green, the business-minded Hofheinz also had a giant marble desk flanked by six-foot dragon statues and a conference room with red carpet on the floor and walls, zebra print chairs, and giant red chalices at each seat.
We're lucky he didn't include real live dragons and zebras.
Then there was the slightly weirder stuff, like a psychedelic hair salon, a puppet theatre, and a bar called the Tipsy Tavern, where everything had been built at an uneven angle. It also had a medieval chapel and a shooting range with both animal and human targets (welcome to Texas, y'all). The dwelling housed both the judge and his extensive family, and was full of so much stuff that they didn't leave the stadium for weeks on end. Hofheinz himself was often seen shredding the Astroturf on a golf cart wearing nothing but a bathrobe. After all, it was technically his backyard.
He'd shoot at stray Astros, yelling, "Get off my lawn!"
Unfortunately, you can't see it today, because the Hofheinz manor was torn down a few years after the judge's death in 1982. Not that you'd want to live in that adult Willy Wonka apartment, as the Astrodome now is a walking health violation.
The Coolest Bachelor Pad In The World Is Inside Radio City Music Hall
Today, Radio City Musical Hall in New York is best known for hosting the Rockettes and having the highest tourist in socks and sandals ratio in the entire city. But back in the 1930s, it was the coolest place to be. Well, the coolest place to be was somewhere inside Radio City. And the guy responsible for filling all those seats got to live here:
The carpet still smells of whiskey and bad investments.
Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel was the venue's first impresario, responsible for classing the stage up with the greatest talents in the world. His cool and glamorous style was famous throughout the city, so in order to keep Roxy firmly tucked in their pocket, the owners of Radio City Music Hall built him his own amazing art deco apartment above the theatre. It was as opulent as one of his over-the-top shows, replete with gold leaf and floor-to-ceiling curtains. It oozed class, and Roxy didn't let it go to waste. He hosted parties for the likes of Olivia de Havilland, Samuel Goldwyn, Alfred Hitchcock, and enough young ladies that the pad could have been listed as a European hostel.
57 different Rockettes were conceived here.
Unfortunately, it was only used for four years, until Rothafel died in 1936 from having too good a time. Out of respect, the venue kept the apartment pristine, and today you can rent the "Roxy Suite" for a bit of '30s class.
You Can Stay In The Clock Tower That Harry Potter Flew Over
There are so many magical landmarks dotted throughout London, but unless you're secretly the 12th Earl of Fancypantsington (pronounced "Flint"), there's not a chance in the world you'll ever get to spend the night in one of them. But what if we told you you could stay inside the most famous clock tower in all of the world? Alright, the second most famous clock tower in England: the one atop St. Pancras Station.
Y'all have heard of St. Pancras Station, right? Right?!
St. Pancras Station is one of the most recognizable train stations in the world, and not just If you are a Harry Potter fan wondering why it looks like the place where Platform 9 3/4 ought to be.
Also pictured: the largest, most modern car currently available in London.
And if you want to be a part of it you can stay in a fabulous apartment located in that clock tower, because it's an Airbnb.
So you can also refuse to leave and live here permanently.
Sharing many of the station's gorgeous 19th-century architecture, the St. Pancras suite has two bedrooms and a ceiling high enough that you could fly a broom around. Of course, there are a few downsides. While it is only a short five-second walk to the nearest train station, that does also mean you'll be hearing trains all day and night. You'll also have to shell out a steep 150 pounds per night, but that might be worth it for the chance to say you stayed in an apartment worth 5 million pounds, with amazing views of London. Just watch out for flying cars driven by gingers.
There's An Entire Apartment Block Crammed Into An Australian Bridge
To us boring squares, living under a bridge might seem like something only for hobos and the non-attractive fantasy monsters of yore. But in the crazy upside-down world that is Australia, people don't need to live under a bridge -- they can live in it.
Of course, from our point of view, they're still on top of the bridge.
Walter Taylor Bridge, Australia's longest suspension bridge, houses several apartments in the pylons. And if you think that sounds like its current residents are living in tiny Hobbit holes, know that they are surprisingly large. One room is so big that it's known as the "Ball Room," and some awesome parties have been thrown there.
"Uh, sure. That's totally what goes on in the ball room ..."
Originally, the apartments were built for the bridge's toll workers, which must have done wonders for their commute. Since then, other renters have taken over, mostly students and people with a fetish to hear cars race underneath their floors 24/7.
But now, one adventurous company is pushing for renovations that would make the bridge even cooler, including hotel accommodation and cafes, as well as rooms for functions, along with places for canoes and picnics on the outside. You think hipsters are bad now, wait until they can tell you they know the best bridge to have lunch at.
You Could Be A Live-In Bookworm In One Of The New York Libraries
The New York Public Library is world-famous, and for good reason. Its 30 locations are like Mecca for book lovers. And once upon a time, one of the coolest jobs you could have was being a janitor in such a place. Not a librarian or a director -- they had to go home for the night. But for the custodians, home was the library.
Hobos claim the same thing, but with these guys, it was legit.
Back in the day, books were kept warm and dry with coal furnaces. That meant it was someone's job to shovel coal in said furnaces to keep the fire going nonstop. Because of that, libraries built special apartments above the main halls to house custodians, who devoted their lives to keeping the fire of knowledge. If your job description is indistinguishable from that of an ancient shaman, that's pretty cool.
Also like shamans, they were high basically always.
What must have been even cooler was living in a beautiful library like St. Agnes in New York as a kid. That was the privilege of Sharon Washington, a daughter of custodian George King Washington. She spent her evenings reading in the closed library like it was her private book collection. She even got to have her birthday there.
Which was extremely fun, her parents assure us.
However, as more modern heating systems were installed, the number of live in-custodians started to dwindle. The apartments were abandoned or used as storage, and the handful that are left are all in a state of complete disrepair. Even worse, while most remaining apartments are planned to be renovated in order for the libraries to offer extra services, they're simply too underfunded to make any progress. So these multi-bedroom apartments sit there empty, a complete waste of space in some amazing New York real estate that most people in Brooklyn would kill for -- literally.
You like bread? You like cats? Boom catbread. You're welcome.
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