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Archive for November, 2008

A VeryVintageVegas Gathering At Frankie’s Tiki Room

Frankies_logo (jpeg)Mark Your Calandars, and please join us on Thursday December 18th from 6 to 8 PM for an informal meet and greet for readers of VeryVintageVegas. We’re doing it at the all new “Frankie’s Tiki Room” at 1712 West Charleston, next to the UMC Hospital.

MaryJOY, Steve, Pam, Paco, Susan and all the regulars who help me in so many way will all be there. We hope you’ll stop in and meet us or say hello once again.

I’ll be bringing the pizza (hawaiian, of course) and there will be a no host bar.

Moss assures me they’ll be ready for their big December 4th Debut. I took a sneak peak the other day and I can tell you right now that it’s hot hot hot!

Here’s the press release about the opening and the creation of the first new Las Vegas Tiki Bar in many years. I’m so glad that it’s right in the heart of Vintage Vegas, and NOT on the Strip.

Frankie’s Tiki Room – Sin City’s Only Authentic Tiki Bar – Opens Dec. 4

Tiki001Las Vegas — Frankie’s Tiki Room, the only authentic tiki bar in Las Vegas, opens Thursday, Dec. 4, inviting guests to experience the one-of-a-kind tiki environment complemented by traditional carvings, original Polynesian art, a full bar and gaming.

“We are very excited to introduce Frankie’s Tiki Room to Las Vegas,” said P Moss, owner and founder of Frankie’s Tiki Room.  “Frankie’s offers guests a unique and authentic tiki bar experience with a Las Vegas twist.  From the combination of original exotic drinks and collectible souvenir mugs, tiki statues and lowbrow art, each detail has been carefully selected to create an unparalleled environment.”

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Fun Features Found In Foreclosures – Post And Beam Construction Of Mid Century Modern Homes In Las Vegas

IMG_8966One of my favorite construction styles is the post and beam that was common in Mid Century Modern Homes In Las Vegas. The concept certainly wasn’t new or modern, but the way it was adapted, it caused the advent of the high ceiling, open floorplan that we cherish.

One of the best production examples was by a builder named “Sproul”. He’s responsible for 1000’s of homes on the west side that are called “Charleston Heights”. There’s a fascinating story about how those 1000’s of homes came to be in the RJ’s FIRST 100 series. The article is about Earnie Becker, who developed the land, but it was Sproul who built the homes.  



IMG_8970The design that caught my eye is a $90,000 foreclosure in Charleston Heights #40A at Alta and Torrey Pines, but it also exists in another Sproul development called Winterwood near Nellis and Sahara.







Img-3606In Charleston Heights, this model has a solid wall at the front of the home to create the courtyard as you can see in the first picture. Out in Winterwood, they built it with decorative concrete block which really improves on the look of the home.

Similar to many of the Eichler Homes of California, it had a courtyard entry, and was a see thru house. Once you were in the courtyard it was all glass in the front and rear of the high pitched, post and beam home.





IMG_8971There’s been a lot of moving things around in this particular home. Someone pulled out the kitchen sink and the toilets. Someone brought in a lamp and a chair. We joked about it being partially furnished. The pictures in the MLS are much better (believe it or not) and since it just recently went to contract I’ll go ahead and give you the link so you can see them.

The reason I was out in Charleston Heights was because of Adam, who’s moving here from New Orleans. He’s looking specifically for post and exposed beam construction like this, but also wants to be “central”. And he wants to be where it’s hip and cool and fun and energetic. He’s looking for an urban lifestyle in a mid mod home. If ALL he cared about was Mid Mod Design, then there’d be plenty to look at in Charleston Heights or Winterwood.

I rarely talk about Charleston Heights even though there’s a ton of great mid mod design there. I don’t usually blog about it because it’s “out west”, even though half way to Summerlin isn’t actually all that far. I rarely mention it because no one ever tells me they love it there. I’m sure there are those who do.

Maybe if I were to blog and talk about Charleston Heights, Winterwood, parts of Henderson, and North Las Vegas, then they would become hip and fun and cool and interesting again. I’m only capable of covering so much ground, so in the meanwhile, they do have a lot of excellent Mid Century Modern Design and Architecture, even if the hipness, fun and location are lacking to my way of thinking.

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

885592_201_12As the days grow shorter, the ghost gets taller.

And he lost an arm somewhere! I hope he’s all right.





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





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Walter Zick Changed The Entire Look And Feel Of The City Of Las Vegas

We introduced you to Walter Zick last week. Walter Zick and his partner Harris Sharp started the Architectural Firm of Zick and Sharp in 1949. They had a monumental influence on the mid century years of Las Vegas. Walter’s family, and the historic preservation community are trying to get a school named after him.

The power point presentation to the Clark County School District fell on deaf ears the first time around, and we’re committed to lobby them till it finally happens. Here, in clickable thumbnails is the biography that was prepared by the family and are slides from the presentation, so when you click them, they’ll be big enough to read.

Zick Slide 3Zick Slide 4Zick Slide 5Zick Slide 6Zick Slide 7

Zick Slide 91 Nevada Savings and Loan HeadquartersWe’ve discovered from that presentation that many of our favorite buildings were designed by Zick and Sharp.

Today we present you with one of the buildings that surprised me the most. I had mentioned it only a few weeks ago as one of my favorite Commercial Buildings during the “pillars and posts and columns” series.

Back then it was a bank building. Today it houses the downtown post office and a lot of lawyers.




SharpdtCRW_5887-01 -1We asked Zane Donaldson to take some photos for us for this series. He went way above the minimum that we needed and had a great deal of fun finding every interesting angle imaginable.

The Nevada Savings and Loan Headquarters building at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Bridger in downtown has changed little from the drawing above.

After the Jump are some of the other excellent and artistic shots that Zane took for us.



Zick and Sharp, Architect Las Vegas Nevada  1 - photo by Zane Donaldson


I loved this building long before I ever heard of Walter Zick or Harris Sharp. It’s a great example of the types of buildings that can become endangered at the whim of a developer.

The more we learn about the designs, the architects and the history of those who built and used the historic homes and offices and hotels, the better we’ll be able to keep them around in the future.




Zick Slide 90There’s 6 other Nevada State Bank branches in Las Vegas (as well as 2 in Reno) that are mentioned in Slide 90. We’re trying to pin things down as to where they were, and figure out what’s still standing and what isn’t. NS&L disappeared years ago. 

Something as simple as a request to the school board has given us dozens of questions that need answering.

Can any of you help us figure out the other branches that are mentioned? We only have a drawing of the headquarters building in the slide presentation.

We’ll be looking at the Nevada State Bank buildings in another post. They’re most interesting as well!

Again, after the jump are some more pictures of the Nevada Savings And Loan Headquarters.

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

882163_401_19Hurry up, Harry! I already pushed the button.







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

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A Thanksgiving Story

I want to wish all of you a Very Happy Thanksgiving.

I’ve told the story before, but since we get new readers all the time, I’ll tell it again. This is how the “Uncle Jack” thing came to be:


During Thanksgiving Dinner at my mom’s (about 20 years ago), I got up from the table to get something or other from the kitchen. My oldest brother Arnie said “Jack, while you’re there get the milk.”

My four year old very petulant and very bright niece grabbed her fathers arm and sternly reprimanded him “DADDY! You know his name is UNCLE JACK!!!!”

Of course, at any gathering of the LeVines, it doesn’t take much to send us all into hysterics. My mother was laughing so hard tears were running down her face.

Naturally, I was teased to death for the whole weekend and they went out of their way to “Uncle Jack” me at every opportunity. Of course the nickname stuck within the family, spread to my friends and eventually, I hope to you. You’re welcome to call me Uncle Jack, also.

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The Southern Nevada Arts Center At Neonopolis Is Part of The Southern Nevada Museum Of Fine Art

IMG_8956 -2We got all dressed up again Tuesday for The Executive Lounge mixer at the Palazzo, but from there…

We attended the SinCityQSocial which was held at Neonopolis. Neonopolis is now the home of the Southern Nevada Museum Of Fine Art as well as the new artist workshop and gallery spaces called the Southern Nevada Arts Center.

Several of our artist friends have moved over including Leslie Rowland and Architect Steven Jackson.

We made a whole lot of new friends and I want to encourage you to make an effort to stop in and see these important additions to the Urban Art Scene. It’s all for sale, and make great gifts for yourself or someone you love.


IMG_8941Denise Duarte has been my friend for many years, and somehow her amazing ceramic artistry has never made it onto the pages of VeryVintageVegas. It’s about time, and since her gallery is now front and center at the SNAC, she’s easy to find, and you’ll love what she does.

18 B The Arts Distric by Denise Duarte of D'arte Design






IMG_8947Our new friend Frenchy is hilarious. The accent is delightful. Most of what you see in the background are actually done one dot at a time. She’s in gallery #6.









James Donohue’s abstracts were lots of fun.










Susanne Katharina Freitag paints the wide range of humanity and makes the case that we’re all really the same.






Southern Nevada Museum Of Fine Art fundraiser0001You are invited to the 2nd Annual Holiday Season fundraiser for the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art on Saturday Dec. 6th, 5 to 8 pm. RSVP by phone at 382–2926






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A Last Look At The Mid Century Modern Rancho Park Office Building

mid century modern design just before demolitionI mentioned last week that one of our favorite mid century modern commercial office buildings in all of Las Vegas was at the last stage before the demolition started.

They’ve started the domition at the north end, and these pictures are from the south end of the building.

If you want to drive by and say your last respects, it’s hidden away at the back of the Sahara Rancho Corporate Center in the North East Corner of Sahara Ave. and Rancho.  




IMG_8886Since the plastic wrap is off and the bulldozer is already busy at work I managed to grab some pictures so you could see the exterior before it’s gone. Now you know why we loved this classic example of Mid Century Modern Architecture and Design.























I got busted by the Security Guard while taking the interior pictures for you, and just BARELY talked my way out of a trip to the Clark County Detention Center. I got away with a good scolding, the camera, and a cut on my hand from climbing thru the rubble to get inside.








There’s more pictures after the jump, and that ghost kept following me around

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

884070_801_22Monday is supposed to be for laundry, but since I didn’t find any piles of dirty clothes this week, we’ll have to settle for a double dose of used towels.














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





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Retro Mid Century Modern Homes In Las Vegas

IMG_8720More pictures from the new secret listing.

Just for you Pam!

BTW Pam, one of your regular readers found her way to VeryVintageVegas off of your site and deduced that she’s one of my California 2rd cousins who I met only once ever, when I was 10 years old. She’s a Mid Century Modern fanatic as well, so it must be in the blood.






Retro Kitchens aren’t really retro when they’re fabulously original!


























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What Do You Do With 8 Bedrooms, 9 Bathrooms and 19000 SF?

Photo by Glenn CampbellI heard a rumor that it’s going to be torn down. It’s the Sunrise Mountain Mansion of Don Reynolds, the founder of the Review Journal and Donrey Media Group.

I never got to even be inside the gates of the 15 acre estate, but passed it by a hundred times. I alway marveled at the size and scope of it, as well as the interesting lines and the glass roof view deck overlooking the entire Las Vegas Valley.



817262_201_22Don Reyolds built the estate in 1971, and lived there until his death in 1993.

The last I heard, back in 2006, it was being donated to the county. Turns out county didn’t accept it, and now it’s owned by  Denver Square Trust. A very interesting character named Glenn Campbell who has lots of websites about aliens, did some research of his own about the donation in 2006, and published some great pictures as well.




Regular reader Shayna Gilliam did the googling to find these websites, and got interested in it because of a Craig’s List Ad a few months ago . The agent who told her about it, said that it was all going to be demolished, and the ad was for the fixtures in the house. Shayna bought a few things this summer, and says they’re still selling them. I’ve tried to get confirmation, but am still awaiting some returned calls. 


CIMG1658He also moved his childhood home from Oklahoma to the property in 1991. They dismantled it brick by brick and put it back together here in Las Vegas.

It’s a “prairie four-square” styled home. There used to be homes like this on Fremont Street a hundred years ago! There’s no other like it that I know in Las Vegas. It is, however pre war classic, and the exact opposite of everything we talk about when we talk Mid Mod.

Just TODAY, they sold the childhood Oklahoma home on Ebay for $10,200. I’m wondering if the high bidder is moving it again, or just going to salvage all the brick.  


I guess that still leaves us with more questions than answers.

Here’s the listing the last time it was in the MLS and a few of the pictures.

Here’s an article about Don Reynolds from the DWReynolds Foundation Website.

Below the fold (sometimes called “after the jump” I’ve recently learned) are some more pictures from various sources.

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

881348_201_19Hopefully the lockbox ended up on the front door for easy access.

If you like beamed ceilings, it’s one of the Charleston Heights Mid Mods near Jones and and the 95. It’s a short sale, but listed at $99,000.

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

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All Dressed Up And Someplace To Go – The Executive Lounge

IMG_8695MaryJoy and I got dressed up for a very exclusive “invitation only” Executive Lounge event. It’s a weekly social/business gathering at Lavo in the Palazzo. Jimmy Foster, the ceo of Whispering Giants and one of our downtown neighbors was gracious enough to invite us, and we thank him.

I put on my best “rat pack” and MaryJOY was dressed to the nines as usual. I was shocked that I was the only one in the room in a fedora. I do things like that because it’s one of the many ways that I tell the story of Vintage Vegas to the multitudes of suburbanites who have no idea that anything as charming, unique, historic, or fun as Vintage Vegas even exists.

One nice thing about standing out in a crowd is that people notice you, and actually start the conversation. It’s lots of fun unless you’re inherently shy. Shy is one thing that neither MaryJOY and I am not.  It’s really fun to tell someone the story and see the blank stare fade away as awareness sets in. Then you can see the light bulb turn on, and the say things such as “I had no idea” and my friend lives in an historic neighborhood in …” or what I like to hear best which is “They told me such a place didn’t exist in Las Vegas, and when I buy, I’m definately checking it out”.


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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

881600_401_17Does the carpet match the drapes? Inquiring minds always want to know.






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

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Another Secret Listing

IMG_8724It’s not MY secret listing, but I have permission to share it with you.

Trust me, it’s a stunning absolute original custom home. Amazing woodwork, amazing stonework, amazing details, 2 gorgeous zigsaw-puzzle slate fireplaces!






IMG_8730Definately for sale but not in the MLS!














I know where it is,  have access and can tell you more! If you’re looking for a pristine, original, vintage home…. then give me a call.





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