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Los Gatos, California

The Submarine House

Subterranean house made out of a grain silo, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

In 1973, Harry Neal bought a grain silo, and with the help of a friend, dismantled the steel tower and brought it from San Jose across the mountains to Santa Cruz. Once used for storing hops to make beer by the Falstaff Brewing Company Neal had a very different purpose for the silo in mind.

Over the ensuing years, Neal turned the silo into his own unique home, with circular rooms, and a second metal tube with bay windows that protrudes from the master bedroom, making the silo even more “submarine”-like. Surrounding the home are a coi pond, a hot tub, and a studio for his bronze sculpture.

Though the original layout of the silo house were improvised by Neal, he has since involved the Palo Alto architect Bill Logan in its design.

Neal built a fence to keep deer and visitors out. He is a private person, and only one interview with him has been published, by the Los Gatos Weekly. His wife, Linda Barton, and his son, Clayton Gilly, share his home, along with their pet donkey, Homer.

The house can be seen from Mountain Charlie Road. Passing cyclists and neighbors have nicknamed it the “Submarine.”