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Archive for August, 2008

Where Did Elvis Go When He “Left The Building” in Las Vegas?

IMG_7230Once upon a time, there was an amazing hideway that was owned by the International Hotel, which later became The Hilton Hotel. They used it as a private, exlusive retreat for the headliners. Elvis slept there. So did Dean Martin, Tonya Tucker and many others. It’s always been referred to as “the Elvis House”.

My mother drove me by it and told me the story during one of my first visits to Las Vegas in 1975. I’ve never verified any of the details of the history or the folklore, but even then she told me it was one of the private hangouts for all kinds of strip entertainers.

The Hilton sold the property in 1974 to Joseph Macchiaverna, a violinist (who doesn’t have even a single google hit. Anyone know anything about him?). In the 90’s they subdivided the property and built the infill “villas” that surround it to this day.

The brief third owner, Michael Michaels, was an Elvis impersonator himself, according to the current owners who acquired the proerty in 2006.

IMG_7194At the time, it was all by itself out in the desert near what would become the intersection of Eastern and Desert Inn. Like everything else in Las Vegas, it was encroached upon by more development. It’s still a little island of mid mod paradise on an 17000+ foot lot.

It’s been listed for awhile. I didn’t pay it much mind when it was $700,000  but the price was just dropped to $410,000 subject to shortsale rules. I thought you’d like to see the pictures, and if you’re into something really crazy and off the wall, as well as off the beaten path, I’d be happy show it to you.

 

 

IMG_7201The colorful blocks in the face of the home are actually colored glass which lite up the living room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7200There’s been a lot of use of slate tiles in the home. They’re on the front, as well as the stairs, fireplace and flooring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7198There’s 2 circular staircases in the home. One leads up from the “music room” thru a trap door in the floor in front of the fireplace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7218The master bathroom is a 2 story atrium of glass and Lava Rock which also is accessed by a circular staircase up to the master bedroom.

There just wasn’t a good angle to show it, but the white oval in the middle of the staircase is actually the master tub.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7221The garden tub in the master bath is surrounded by the lava rock waterfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7204The original pyramid shadow block is used on the stairway, leading up to the kitchen and living area. The living room and kitchen as well as the bedrooms are all on the upper level of the home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7206The kitchen is updated and very functional with double fridges, and stainless steel appliances. The stainless steel kitchen sink was salvaged from _________hotel kitchen. They told me which one, but I forget. (I know…shame on me, but I’ll call the seller for a reminder and fill in the blank).

 

 

 

 

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 8 Comments »

My Kind Of Column – The Mid Century Modern Neighborhood Of Paradise Palms

IMG_7191Besides that I love colorful eye popping colors on mid century modern homes, you know how I feel about the decorative concrete blocks.

There’s 3 of this model that still have the original carport design on Golden Arrow Drive in Paradise Palms. There’s others scattered around but they’re hard to find because the carports have been converted into garages, and the columns of block have been removed or obscured.

One of the many goals of VeryVintageVegas is to help preserve the original designs or at least the original intent of the architecture. Many many too many of our great homes have been changed and adulterated or abominated. The more of you I can get of all of you to be aware of the architecture, the designs and the elements, the better chance we have of preserving them.  

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The next time you take a Sunday Drive, try tooling around one of my favorite Vintage 60’s neighborhoods. You’ll find lots of eye candy such as these. You’ll also see what I mean about homes that have been “remuddled”.

Paradise Palms is both sides of Desert Inn between Maryland Parkway and Eastern. This pattern is in the part that’s north of Desert Inn Road. There’s 2 segments of Paradise Palms to the south of Desert Inn. East of Spencer and the power lines are the higher end homes surrounding the National Golf Course. To the west of Spencer Ave. are the middle grade homes. Mostly they’re on 10,000 foot lots. Many are classic modernism, and many are ranch style modern.

There’s currently 30 homes for sale in Paradise Palms. At the moment, they range from  $149k to $525,000. Of the 30, 6 are bank owned and 6 are short sales. There’s 9 homes under contract, for a healthier than average 30% ratio of pendings to availables.

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

853029_701_15Fish eye lenses should be reserved for big spaces.

The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

The Secret Las Vegas Mid Mod – Part 2

Hall bath 1A great design that I’ve never seen before! Slanted face, floating bathroom vanities! Design is everything in Mid Century Modern.

These are in the bathrooms of the SECRET Icon Mid Mod that I’m representing. We’re experimenting with marketing it to only the  devoted base of readers of VeryVintageVegas.

We’re not putting it into the MLS, and there’s no sign. We’re not going to let anyone actually see it who’s not a true Mid Mod enthusiast. The last thing I want is to hear someone walk in and tell me it’s “dated” (that means about 99% of the real estate agents in Las Vegas).

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IMG_7062It’s priced at $547,000. I’ll give all the details to those who can seriously consider it, and use the fabulous features as a regular series to provide my readers with great ideas, concepts and pictures to drool over.

There’s plenty more to come. As we said in the 50’s….”don’t touch that dial”.

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 13 Comments »

Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – A Triple Play In Rancho Bel Air

857810_101_12Hey Vince, This is the front of the house that I featured yesterday in the “Fun Features Found In Foreclosures” series.

These are the only 3 photos in the MLS, which is the reason I showcase the foreclosures in the series. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

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I’m guessing the Jeep belongs to the photographer.

 

 

 

 

 

857810_201_12Usually, I don’t blatantly identify which property the WMLSPOTHD comes from, but in this case…

You ask! I deliver!

 

 

 

The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

 

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

Fun Fixtures Found In Foreclosures – In Rancho Bel Air, No Less

I talked about Rancho Bel Air the other day. The reason I was there was to go see this bank owned home.

I snagged a couple of pictures to share with you that could fit into several  of the different categories.

IMG_6864From the pillars posts and columns folder, there’s this one that I didn’t use. It shows much of the backyard and it’s brick columns, green pool and and a corner of the full guest house/casita.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6866The home’s a split level, which seems to be theme today. I found the upstairs bathroom to be very colorful. and the mid level powder room to be done in a gold pebbletec finish with black fixtures.

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IMG_6867The open tread staircase and entertainment wall surrounding the fireplace are doen in white oak.

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IMG_6861And for some reason or other, this 12 foot  freeform sofa got left behind.

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From the sad stuff folder, I found bulwinkle in a pile of junk in the garage.

The rest of the house is filthy, will need new carpet and lots of landscape help. There’s a whole dumpster’s worth of stuff in the garage, but it’s priced at only $458,200. Why the 200? don’t ask me!

I’ve yet to see a repo that was clean, loved, or move-in-ready, but that doesn’t mean they’re not redeemable or salvagable, and in all cases……you get what you pay for!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

Wrought Iron Columns And Railings Are Prevelent In The Retro Homes Of Las Vegas

IMG_6936It’s especially the wrought iron railings and support columns that are hiding in the backyards of Vintage Vegas that I’m hoping you’ll help me to find. I know there’s some terrific retro designs that deserve to be seen. Mostly the pictures that I have for this series will come from the front yard carports, and porches unless you help me out.

While showing this wonderful split-level in Crestview, I stumbled upon a ladder trellis design that frames the gorgeous and meticulously landscaped backyard.

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I’ll take the opportunity to plug the home which is perfect for the “pink bathroom” crowd. The bathrooms are original and in excellent condition. It’s a one owner home that has been loved and cared for. They’ve recently dropped the price to $315,000. which now makes it well worth consideration. It even has the original shag carpet, (which I love, being the retro freak that I am) which will probably need to be replaced. Other than that, it’s extremely clean and move in ready. A thank you to Josephine Reising from Prudential for allowing me to share this with you. There’s more pictures in the MLS Brochure.

 

 

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

857261_601_22Wet washrags are very attractive.

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently No Comments »

One Of The “Icon” Mid Century Modern Las Vegas Homes Surrounds These Original Lamps

IMG_7043I’ve been given an exlusive listing to find the perfect buyer.

It’s NOT a starter home, by any stretch. It’s $547,000 and it’s not going to be in the MLS, and there’s not going to be a sign.

By far and away, this dining room chandelier isn’t even the coolest of the original features and fixtures. It’s just the one I’m going to show first. I’ll be slowly revealing the rest of this showplace over the next few weeks.

 

 

 

IMG_7044If you’re a serious mid mod enthusiast, and seriously qualifiable, I’d be happy to tell you more. In the meanwhile, the location remains a secret, and I’m the only Realtor authorized show the property.

If you’ve been hiding in the wings waiting for that special opportunity….

 

 

 

  

 

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 7 Comments »

Untold Stories Lecture Series Will Focus On “The Mob”

The next installment of the hugely popular lecture series called Untold Stories will be Thursday September 4th at 7pm. The venue will be the springs preserve. Admission is $12.00

The Classic Las Vegas Blog has the whole story as well as pictures and a list of the panelists.

For the same admission, you can do the farmers market as well as the “Green House”

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design

Visit_concerts_greenhouseThe Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design is a first-of-its-kind traveling exhibition exploring sustainable, innovative residential design, exposing the beauty and advantages of going green at home.

The nationally-acclaimed exhibit opens at the Springs Preserve’s Desert Living Center patio gallery Aug. 29 and runs through Dec. 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with extended hours coinciding with special events. Entry is included with general admission and free to annual passholders.

 

I’m not sure which came first…the book or the exhibition.

Here’s a link to the brochure from the original site of the exhibition at the National Building Museum in D.C.

Future House Now has a review of the book.

If you want to mix the “old” with the new even more, go see The Green House before attending the next UNTOLD STORIES roundtable lecture on “The MOB” on Sept. 4th. Two birds…1 admission fee!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

The Huntridge Neighborhood Came With 4×4 Posts Adorned With Cross Members

P7031053When I first introduced the subject of the pillars and posts and columns of Vintage Vegas, I asked for your help, and NO ONE has responded…YET. I joked that I was looking for interesting designs and clever adaptations, but no 4×4’s.

The huntridge neighborhood however was built with 4×4’s to hold up the carports and porch covers (real 4×4’s at that). But they were adorned with cross hatchings, and designs made out of 1×2’s on one model and 2×4 butresses on the other. 

 

 

 

Typical Huntridge Home From the Las Vegas Bicentennial Banner at Circle Park

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7141The 4×4’s have stood the test of time, but there’s very very few of the original cross pieces that have survived. One of them is shown in the bicentennial banner in the (unfortunately closed) Huntridge Circle Park. The next few pictures are some of the few remaining original columns that I’ve been able to find.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7138If you’re the owner or future owner of one of the Huntridge Homes, then I’d love to see you recreate some of the post designs that adorned the front porches. Please feel free to use these remaining originals as a guide.

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve been studying the post and beam construction of the Huntridge Cottages (or are they bungalows?). Every piece of wood was hand cut. Every nail was driven by a hammer. The walls were hand plastered. The cabinets were stick built on location. The flooring was wood parquet. The bathtubs were square and the surviving tubs are highly sought after today.

 

 

 

 

IMG_7151They were built between 1941 and 1944 to provide fast inexpensive housing the the soldiers and airmen that were being stationed at the new Army Air Station, which was being built out in the desert far to the NW of a little railroad stop called Las Vegas. It’s  now called Nellis AFB. Las Vegas’s population in 1940 was 16,414 according to the census. There were about 900 of them built on both sides of Maryland Parkway and they became the first subdivision in Las Vegas.

 

 

 

 

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 Here’s the rest of the pictures from the Bicentenniel Banner:

 

Take a moment and click on any of the pictures and you’ll have as much fun as I do looking at them in full screen mode.

 

 

 

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Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

Nominations Open For Mayor Oscar Goodman’s Third Annual Urban Design Awards

 

City Of Las Vegas Invites Everyone to Submit Nominations

 

            The city of Las Vegas will again honor exceptional urban design through the third annual Mayor’s Urban Design Awards (MUDA). Nominations for the awards, which will recognize projects that foster the city’s commitment to sustainability and livability, are being accepted Sept. 2 through Oct. 30, 2008.

 

Nomination forms are available at the front counter at the Development Services Center located at 731 S. 4th St. or online at the City of Las Vegas Planning Department website or with this direct link to the the nomination form   Anyone is invited to nominate projects, however the project must be located within city limits and be completed by Dec. 31, 2008, to qualify for the award.

 

The awards recognize projects that cultivate walkways and streets that are shared public spaces, promote safety, conserve resources, preserve historic buildings and places, seamlessly link to their surroundings and are pedestrian friendly. The four categories are buildings and their environs, public places, historic preservation and public art.

            The awards will be presented at the State of the City address in January 2009 by Mayor Oscar B. Goodman.  

 

“For the third year now, we will be honoring some of our city’s exceptional designs,” Mayor Goodman said. “This year’s and previous award winners together enrich our multifaceted community and are a big part of creating a world-class city.”

 

The 2007 MUDA winners were:

           

            Buildings and Their Environs:          Newport Lofts

Public Places:                                   Las Vegas Springs Preserve

Public Art:                                          Betty Willis (Lifetime Contribution to Las Vegas, Iconic Neon Signage)

Historic Preservation:                       The Morelli House

 

A five-member committee will review and rank the submissions for recommendation to Mayor Goodman, who will select the award winners. The Planning and Development Department is providing staff support to the program and the volunteer committee.

 

For more information about the MUDA award nomination process, please contact Urban Design Coordinator Yorgo Kagafas, AICP, at 229-6196.

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently No Comments »

Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

856304_701_19Poor Paula gets no respect!

Paula paid a pretty penny to procure professional product placement.

Lazy seller says “sell it as is”.

DO YOU HAVE A CAPTION YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? Leave them in the comments.

The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

 

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

The VolksWagen Mid Century Modern Decorative Concrete Block Story

As you know, I’m obsessed with the decorative block sunscreens and walls,. The series that we did about them seems to have long tail search engine value.

VW-ConcreteBlock-2I gave you a teaser the other day about a very special pattern, and these photos came along with it.

They were sent in by a VW affectionado in Connecticut, and I’ll let him tell the story.

 

The first email I received from Dave had this note attached along with these photos:

Jack,
Have you ever seen Decorative Concrete Blocks shaped like the Volkswagen logo? ( see the attached photos) I’ve only found 2 Volkswagen dealerships from the 1950-60′s that used them. One was Davella VW was in Meriden, CT the second was North Dade Imported Motors was in North Miami, FL.  Were the any 50-60′s VW dealerships in or near Vegas that may have had these?

So the mystery was afoot! I naturally went to MaryJoy who remembers everything about Las Vegas in the 50’s and 60’s. She remembers the only VW dealership being Bob Glinski’s Motors at Boulder Highway and Sahara, They didn’t have them.

Davellas-VW-side2David emailed me back the story of how he acquired 2 of them:

Jack,
My son and I are avid Volkswagen enthusiasts so when we saw this
VW concrete block at a VW car show/swapmeet a few (6) years ago and just thought
it was neat that Volkswagen used something like when they constructed the dealers building.

The guy was selling the block(s) for $75 each. At the time I thought that was kind of high priced!
He told me that it came from an old VW dealership that was torn down…..Davella Motors in
Meriden, CT. I tried locating the owner of the old Davella Motors but he had passed away.
I tried the Meriden-Local Historian, he didn’t have any photos, but only knew of a postcard that
had Davella’s Dealership on it. (I’m still looking for one of those.)  Next the Meriden Building Dept., They told me they didn’t have anything that “old”, and finally the Meriden newspaper the Record-Journal…a partial success….most of their old photos were ruined/destroyed in a flood years ago but they had some photocopies of articles in the newspaper about Davella’s dealership and one photo of Davella’s when it was rebuilt…..they sent me copies. The new Davella Motors didn’t use the Decorative VW Logo Concrete Blocks  but had half a VW Bug on the outside wall of the building. See photo.

A few months later we were buying some parts for our VW beetle
at a place named Bug City (they sell parts for all kinds of VW’s) the owner Dave Valici said he
knew of a guy that has some of the “VW Blocks”…Johnny at Classic Cars in Meriden!! I went
to see him and bought two for $50 each!! He bought/acquired all the blocks when the old Davella
Motors was torn down. He also knew of the “postcard” but didn’t have one.

I guess that I just became obsess with finding out more about these VW Decorative Concrete Blocks!!
Every once and a while when I’m on the Internet I search around for more info about them.
Oh….just recently I called Johnny (the guy that sold me the VW Blocks) he said he sold the rest
of the VW Blocks (about a 100 of them) to a man out of state that is going to use them for
a wall next to his garage!!
- – David

Then he sent me a note saying that:

Just an update to the end of my story: the guy that bought the 100 VW Blocks paid $4000 for them!!
He’s a VW Dealer in Chicago and may use them at his dealership!!??

Maybe we can get Didi from DIM BEAUTY OF CHICAGO to help us track down the blocks that ended up in Chicago.

I know there’s postcard collectors out there. Anyone ever seen a VW dealership postcard from Davella Motors? Any other dealerships?

There’s mid century modern affectionados all over the country who read this. Any of you have a recollection of these at any other VW dealerships?

Like Zane and other readers, there’s VW affectionados. Any of you have dealership photos, ads, etc that might show them on other dealearships around the county?

VW-ConcreteBlock-North Dade Imported Motors-Florida1963-64As a bonus, David sent me a the only other thing that he’s found which is a VW dealership in Florida with a sunscreen on the far left edge made of the decorative concrete blocks. It’s a great mid mod design as well. Maybe one of you have a photo editor that can bring the blocks into clear focus.

Furthermore, if you didn’t click on the ad that shows the davella dealership, it’s hysterical. It’s really an ad for gas heat from Connecticut Power and Light which features the dealership, and provides at the moment the only known picture of the blocks as they were originally used.

 

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 11 Comments »

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