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Archive for February, 2009

More On The Fire At The Mid Century Modern Home In The Historic Las Vegas Neighborhood Of McNeil

I’m saddened at the loss of one of the few “desert” mid century modern homes in McNeil. Actually there’s several very cool ones on Ashby, but this was one of the only ones in the rest of McNeil. Most of the homes in McNeil are “Ranch Modern”. This property won design awards when it was built in 1960. There’s a matching home in Glen Heather.

I spoke to the listing agent, Charlie Gross this morning. Most everything he told me is covered in Alyson McCarthy’s report on Channel 8, which is below. Charlie told me that “Whoever did this, REALLY knew what they were doing. There is no gas service to the house, but whatever explosive they used made it seem like the whole house was full of gas, and then ignited all at once.” He told me that every single window was broken out, and that the roof was lifted completely off of the house.

I did a little video for you of why I thought it was such a cool house. The second video is just a funny outtake while Erin was figuring out my camera.



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Fire and Explosion In McNeil – Vintage Las Vegas Loses A Mid Mod

We lost a lot of one of the desert mods in McNeil last night. My phone started ringing about 10:05 pm when it hit the 10 pm Fox5 news. I only talked to 2 of the callers, and by the time I got to the TV, I’d missed it.

Nikky, who lives next door in the house I sold her this last summer posted it on my facebook page about 9:30, so she actually gets credit for breaking the story.

I’ll plug in the links to the news stories once the video is posted online.

I’ve mentioned this house several times on the VVV. I’ve been trying to find a buyer for it for over a year now, as I thought it had terrific bones, and all the re-muddling that had been done could be corrected. Maybe with insurance money, the owner will be able to make the house right.

I’ll plug in the links to the news stories once the video is posted online.

Here’s a reprint of the story I did a year ago.

Uncle Jack And Jack LeVine Is Flattered When He Gets Imitated… And It’s Very Good For The Classic Homes And Historic Neighborhoods Of Vintage Las Vegas 

There’s a new Mid Century Modern listing in McNeil that caught my eye. I’m going to go see it this afternoon, to find out if it’s right for any of the people on my list.

Here’s the remarks:

Mid Century Modern Home For Sale In The Historic McNeil Neighborhood Of Vintage Las Vegas“VINTAGE VEGAS!!!! Convenient to everything!!!! Great home for entertaining or simply relaxing in a peaceful quiet community.Berber carpets & Ceramic tile floors.The family room has all glass walls & doors to pool area. Master has it’s own sauna, spa & door to pool area.This home won a national design award. This property is surrounded by Vegas history makers. Jerry Lewis is 3 blocks away, The Binion homes are blocks away. This is truly Vintage Vegas!!!”

If you’re not on “the list” it’s real easy to get there. All you have to do is start communicating with me. Send me an email, give me a call, or use the search the MLS feature and save your searches.




I’d previously shown you the decorative concrete blocks on the front of this home (as I understand it, they were blown apart by the explosion). They were pattern number 35 in the series I ran last summer about the Mid Mod Decorative Concrete Blocks of Vintage Vegas (this link gives you the entire series).

I’m going to see if I can get one of them for my collection. I’ll be going over there tomorrow to take pictures.

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The Law Of Unintended Consequences

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

909528_301_12Reality check. Why don’t banks consider that cleaning the properties might fetch them a better price?

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

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Fun Features Found In Foreclosures – The Mid Century Modern Neighborhood Of Paradise Palms

IMG_0451We’re back in the Mid Century Modern Paradise Palms Neighborhood again, this week.

Our fun features home is one of my favorite floor plans. This one has had a terrific walk-around brick fireplace added to the huge vaulted ceiling livingroom. There’s also about 40 feet of suspended soffiting for indirect lighting. The entire back of the house is all glass looking out to the National Golf Course.









There’s a room addition at the back of the house, but you’ll have to look at the MLS pictures to see what’s in it. It’s pretty cool.






IMG_0456The Kitchen has been “Summerlinized”, even thought the tile counters are pretty damn authentic looking. Remember, Mid Century Modern stlye is un-ornamented simple lines, geometric patterns etc.

Raised panel cabinets, arches and tuscan hardware have been popular since the late 80’s, but there are those who argue that it’s awful in a Mid Mod.

The kitchen is in great shape, even if it’s not authentic to the era.  






The other great original feature is the step down, sunken tub/shower with the floor to ceiling window to a private little garden area on the side of the house.

The stripper pole makes it easy to step in and out. I’m sure there are other uses for it, as well, but the pole is not original.





IMG_0459There’s certainly some flooring work to do, and unfortunately, the cement slab had heaved and ruined the herringbone parquet flooring. The bank pulled out all the carpet in order to show off the terrible repair that was made and subsequently covered over by the carpet.



IMG_0449The front entry features offset concrete pads to form the walk way, as well as vertical slats to hide the slider from the dining room to the front planter.







See if you can tell that this is the same home based on the MLS pictures and description. $194,900.

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Las Vegas Architecture Discussed In Las Vegas Weekly Articles

This last weeks Las Vegas Weekly magazine had some interesting discussion of Architecture. If you didn’t see it, here’s the link to it online.

4 local architects were interviewed. The opening question and answer from Eric Strain tells it all from my point of view. It’s a good read.

Weekly: Will the flagging economy offer any long-term opportunities to rethink how we develop the city, or do you think it’s merely just a pause in the usual kind of approach to development that has allowed Vegas to grow so spectacularly over the last 10, 20 or more years?

Eric Strain: There are some hidden opportunities in this. To be perfectly blunt, I think that over the past couple of decades we’ve been fat, dumb and lazy, and we’ve put out some real shit, architecturally, in this community. And I think this is an opportunity to look at what we really value and what we really should be building and how we should be building. We’ve continued for so many years putting up white stucco and red tile, and is that really the appropriate response for this environment? So I think this is an opportunity that, if we take it seriously, we can really start to decide what this valley was and use that as clues to where we can go. I think Phoenix has done it much better than we have. They have a rich history, and we have themes.

Read the Rest Of The Discussion at Las Vegas Weekly

7 buildings  part1 10001 -2Also, they had a side feature called “Diamonds In The Desert – Seven Buildings You Should Know”.

It doesn’t appear to be online, so I’ve scanned it for you in 2 parts. I hope they’re readable. Just click on the thumbnail.

You’ll note that all but one are located in what I refer to as “VeryVintageVegas”. Nuff said!


7 buildings 10001 -2LVW, like most blogs, didn’t get very many comments. Maybe we can do better. What do you think?







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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

909951_701_22It’s a trick the builders use on their models.

Tuck the bed into a corner to make a small room seem larger.





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

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Myron Leavitt Family Park Is Now Open – Downtown Las Vegas

The Leavitt Family released the baloons to mark the opening of the parkAll the pictures are in an album on my Facebook Page, but here’s a few highlights from the grand opening ceremony which was on Monday. Myron Leavitt Family Park is a welcome addition to Downtown Las Vegas.

About 100 people where there, as well as many others who weren’t there for the ceremony.

Mayor Oscar Goodman Dedicates the New Myron Leavitt Family Park in Downtown Las Vegas





IMG_0427We’ve got new playgrounds, baseball diamond, soccer field, bocci ball courts, shade gazebos, walking trails and much more.

Of Special note are the expanded dog runs. There’s two separate fenced areas. One is for small dogs and one is for big dogs. They’ve added egress cages to keep fido from sneaking out, and there’s crushed rock as well as grass areas, plenty of shade and benches and water fountains for the pooches as well as the people. It’s a great place to hang out and meet Vintage Vegas and Downtown Las Vegas neighbors.

Meet Maggie, Bayley and Shadow….my 3 beagles.

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Where Vintage Is Modern

Vintage-neighborhoods-01Vintage Vegas got a nice write-up in an article by Tami Cowden on the “Living Las Vegas” ezine.

Tami discusses the Mid Century Modern Homes and Neighborhoods of Las Vegas.

One of the best kept secrets in Las Vegas is that the city has several vintage neighborhoods containing a treasure trove of “Modern”-style houses. Most houses built between about 1940 and 1980 fit into this category, whether they are called ranches, ramblers, Desert Modern, Palm Springs Modern or simply Mid-Century Modern. Together these houses define a style of architecture that emphasized open floor plans and ample windows, with the goal of opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors inside.

Here’s the full story. Tami and her husband Steve are currently negotiating on the home that I used as a “fun features found in foreclosures” piece from a month or so ago. You’ll remember it, I think. It was the “Beige on Beige” house. Tami’s been seen hanging out in the paint department at Home Depot ever since I first showed it to her.

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – Life Sucks

910162_601_21I swear I didn’t do it!  How long do I have to stand in the corner?






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

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Wrought Iron Fencing Can Be Unique And Original

IMG_0405We’re pleased as can be with the swell design of the new fencing on the corner of 15th and Griffith. The whole house is getting a do-over, and the fencing is frosting on this cake!











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Art Events In The Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

Art and Artifice at Brett Wesley Gallery

BrettWesley Gallery in the Newport Lofts: Thursday 2/26 6–9pm wine and hors d’oeuvres in the luxurious Newport Lofts, penthouse suite 2109. 200 Hoover Ave, Las Vegas 89101 Valet Parking is provided. Please RSVP to Victoria Hart at 702–433–4433 or [email protected]

Art and Artifice features 3 artists: Erik Gonzales, Andrew Myers and Thomas Brummett. More on the artists at the Brett Wesley Gallery Website

Bridge Gallery At Las Vegas City Hall – Photos By Las Vegas Acadamy Students

Highs and Lows

The public is invited to the opening of Highs and Lows, a collection of photographic interpretations of Las Vegas by Las Vegas Academy art students. The exhibit opens on Friday, Feb. 27, 2009 at the Bridge Gallery located Las Vegas City Hall, 400 Stewart Avenue, with a “meet-the artists” reception from 3 to 5 p.m.

The Highs and Lows exhibit is a coordinated effort between Dawn Anderson, photography instructor at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Fine Arts, and the Office of Cultural Affairs Gallery Program.

The exhibit will feature work by fine art/photography majors currently attending the Las Vegas Academy, a magnet high school that offers concentrated studies in Visual Arts. Located downtown in the Las Vegas High School Historic District, the academy has been operating since 1992 to bring fine arts education to Las Vegas valley youth.
Highs and Lows runs through Friday, April 17. The Bridge Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Call (702) 229-1012 for more information


Studio 810 – An Evening With The Artist

Studio 810Studio 810 is at 810 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Friday, 2/26 6–8 pm

Studio 8 Ten is a non-profit arts and crafts studio and gift shop where adults with disabilities train in the design, creation, and sales of quality handmade products.  Our product line ranges from handmade paper, cards, and books, to natural bath and body products, and stuff for pets.  Each item has been uniquely designed specific to our company.  All proceeds go directly into the creation of these items and to enhance the lives of those we serve.  Studio 8 Ten is a Transition Services, Inc. small business concept.  For more information please contact us at (702) 644-9418, email [email protected], or visit our website at www.tsilasvegas.com

(click on the flyer to see it full sized)

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – It’s Two-fer Tuesday

In the MLS you can type in remarks for each picture. It’s defaulted to say “exterior front”. 99% of the pictures in the MLS are labeled as “Exterior Front”.

Here’s an exception. See for yourself.

911128_401_14Patio/Deck: This custom enclosed patio will make you feel like your on vacation!








911128_501_14Patio/Deck: An interior view of the enclosed patio.



We call it “puffery”. In our training classes, we’re discouraged from doing it.


The only thing worse than a bad picture IS A BAD DESCRIPTION!




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It’s Going To Be A Record Breaking Year

WEEDSFor WEEDS, that is. It’s starting a few weeks early because of all the rain we’ve had. I’m seeing the first of their cute little heads popping up. They’re cute now! But just wait another week or so.

NOTHING will make a street or a block or a whole neighborhood look worse than one or a dozen dirt yards with foot high ragweed. It’s not my idea of ground cover.

Below is the post for March 12, 2008. The weeds have a month long head start this year.

Last year I was concerned for PRESERVING home values. That didn’t work out so well, as the market forces did us in. Now that buyers are snapping up ridiculously low, rock bottom, 1995 prices, it’s even more important to make the neighborhoods look as good as they can.



Weeds Are Popping Up Like Foreclosures – And Both Can Hurt The Value Of Your Home 

Typical Las Vegas Ragweed Takes Over Entire Neighbhorhoods In Las VegasSo the doctor says ragweed is the culprit! It’s evil in several different ways, and can have a huge effect on the health of people and the health of neighborhoods. I guess I’ve developed a new allergy. He says next year probably won’t be as bad. You can help me, and thousands like me who suffer every spring. GO PULL SOME WEEDS! Actually, it’s an annual battle to get rid of the sea of yellow flowered weeds that pop up anywhere there’s dirt and water and sunlight. I’m seeing some really big ones already, and millions of them all around Vintage Vegas that are just getting started.


Vacant Bank Owned Property Is Especially Vulnerable

With the new crop of foreclosures and vacant homes that dot our neighborhoods, there’s an especially good chance that no one is going to be taking care of the yards. Since the MARKET HAS SHIFTED DRAMATICALLY in the last few weeks, there are buyers out looking at the properties that are for sale. The better the properties look the more they are likely to be willing to pay. If there’s a vacant home for sale near you, spend a few extra minutes, and mow down the weeds, or pull them out by hand. It’s actually a fun, meditative, no-brain-power exercise that will improve the value of your home. Of course, do your own first! Last spring, in the first days of blogging I wrote that helping your neighbors helps to create equity in your own home. Now it’s more important than ever.


All I started out to do was pull a weed from the side of my yard. I noticed a 3 foot tumbleweed (russian thistle) in my elderly neighbors yard. Once it was gone, I started pulling some of their bigger weeds. When those were gone, the medium sized weeds seemed really big so they got pulled out, and then I started on the littlest ones, and then I ended up raking and trimming the tree, and before I knew it…..One of the really great mid-century modern homes started to look pretty good again. The POINT??? Instead of moaning and complaining about something… let’s just lend a hand and offer some support. We have lots of neighbors who just can’t get to their yards, or have health or age issues and need some help. We also have a lot of rentals in the area, and by nature the landlords and the tenants don’t care. I’d bet if you offered to help, their yards might get cleaned up too. (or you can always call the city code enforcement and complain anonymously. They’ll get on the case ASAP. AND IT”S THE SAME NUMBER TO CALL FOR GRAFFITI REPORTING 229-6615. If you live in the COUNTY the number is 455–4191

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60’s Spy Movies Give Us A Great Library Of Modernism

Last night was all about the movies. The Acadamy Awards show was one of the best that I’ve ever seen. I guess I’m just going to HAVE to go see Slumdog Millionaire.

CaptainScarletSet2 from SpyVibeBut the real topic is a terrific site that I found. I regularly read The MidCenturyModernest blog. There I found a link to a site I think you’ll love, and there’s certainly a movie connection. The website is called SpyVibe. There’s a sister blog that goes with it. I kept bouncing back and forth. You will, as well. It’s a lot of fun.

There’s some great discussions of the style and aesthetic of the spy era. It coincided with the “Rat Pack” era and the Playboy era. All of them led the way in showing modernism to the masses. When it came to cool, it’s certainly Sinatra and Martin and Bond and Hefner who first come to mind. Oh how I always wanted to be like them.

CaptainScarletSet3 from SpyVibeCurrently, SpyVibe is doing a series on the sets of the great spy vs. spy and sci-fi movies and TV shows such as In Like Flint, James Bond, Avengers, U.N.C.L.E and Captain Scarlet.

Don’t start reading these sites at work. We don’t need anyone else to be unemployed.


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