Paul Laszlo (1900-1993): Hertz bomb shelter



Rental car company founder John Hertz commissioned Laszlo to build a bomb shelter in the backyard of his Woodland Hills, Calif. ranch, due to Hertz' concern over a possible nuclear attack on the Los Angeles area. Laszlo spent years designing the structure, as well as researching the building codes and discussing the effects of nuclear fallout with experts. According to archival material, Laszlo even tried to witness a nuclear blast through contacting the Office of Civil Defense for permission to travel to a military base. The Hertz shelter was equipped with sleeping areas, kitchen, bathroom, elevator, stairs, and an escape hatch.
The Architecture and Design Collection also houses the Roland Coate archive, which includes plans for the Hertz house and bomb shelter addition.


Paul Laszlo, designer


Paul László papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.




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Paul Laszlo, designer, “Paul Laszlo (1900-1993): Hertz bomb shelter,” UCSB ADC Omeka, accessed September 27, 2021,