Hidden Room / “The Denver Post” January 10, 2019
The woman stepped out from the shower in her Denver home — built between 1930 and 1933 — and started to slip on the wet tile. She grabbed a towel rack for support but instead got a surprise: The rack swiveled down and clicked, activating a segment of the wall. It swung open and revealed a small, dark room. Inside was a bar, fully stocked, dusty.
She surmised that it was likely untouched since Prohibition.
The woman — not named for obvious reasons — lives near the Denver Country Club in an iconic mansion. She had discovered by accident what more people are designing by intent.
Secret rooms are only slightly newer than rooms themselves. The builders of the pyramids famously created hidden rooms and passageways and ensured their secrecy for centuries by killing the workers who built them. (Today’s contractors usually just have to sign non-disclosure agreements.) Hidden rooms and passages have long been used to protect valuables and hide crimes, such as El Chapo’s secret escape tunnel or the mansion of H.H. Holmes in Chicago.
Today, secret rooms are enjoying a new-found appeal. Custom builders say that it’s common for wealthy clients to want secret rooms in addition to giant kitchens, indoor pools, media rooms, home gyms and 11 bathrooms. The motivations vary between fun and fear, and perhaps mask an even deeper motivation: an innate need for privacy.
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