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Archive for July, 2009

Huntridge Diner Open In The Huntridge Pharmacy – KLAS Channel 8 Eyewitness News Gives A Thumbs Up

I’ve been talking up the Huntridge Diner for a few months now, ever since Derek Washington took me there for lunch.  I never put it on VeryVintageVegas before. I’ve had many a great burger and cheesesteak sandwich. Between the Channel 8 coverage, and this post, maybe we can get him up to the numbers that Joel Holffman, the owner needs to keep it going.

I happened to catch the report live, but this morning 5 of you emailed me the link before I had a chance to find it myself. Regular reader Tracey Brown gets the tip of the hat for being first.

Head over for lunch. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. The Huntridge Diner is located in the Huntridge Pharmacy (which is a “mom and pop” operation as well,) at the SW corner of Maryland Parkway and Charleston.

Here’s the text of Paula Francis’ report. The VIDEO is on the Channel 8 Website


A local man who says retirement was driving him crazy admits he may be even crazier to open a new restaurant in the middle of a recession. But after resurrecting the old Huntridge Diner, he’s just hoping the retro restaurant’s colorful past will help it survive long enough to have a future.

It’s 50’s and 60’s decor, music, and milkshakes are definitely a blast from the past. If the historic Huntridge Diner can hang on long enough, it’s future could be as bright and shiny as its new facelift.

Just like the music, the old-fashioned milkshake machines are shaking again and the burgers, ground from fresh round daily, are sizzling on the grill. “I make everything the moment they ask for it,” said Chef Moses Cruz.

The historic diner, located inside the old Huntridge Drugstore at east Charleston and Maryland Parkway is back in business, much to the delight of old time Las Vegans like Mayor Oscar Goodman and young new regulars like Chris Turner — who can spot a good thing even if he wasn’t even born yet the first time it came around. “It looks like it would have 50 years ago. It’s cool,” he said.

“This fountain behind me is 40-years-old. You just don’t see places like these anymore,” said restaurant operator Joel Holffman.

Its bright red booths, shiny counter tops and freshly painted walls are adorned with 50’s and 60’s memorabilia. In fact, Hoffman says all that’s missing here is a steady stream of customers. “It’s frustrating! If the place was dirty, I could understand it. Or if the food wasn’t good, I could understand it,” he said. “Our prices — $6.95 for a fresh grilled hamburger or philly steak, fries and a soda.”

But like the historic Huntridge Theater directly across the street, which remains closed for now, the Huntride Diner went out of business for a while as well. “I remember going to the Huntridge next door when it was a movie theater. I saw Woodstock there. Wow, that was 40 years ago,” said customer Brian Babbitt.

Hoffman wonders if folks, like long-time resident Brian Babbitt, just haven’t realized the historic restaurant is back in business and better than ever. “If they come in once, they’ll be back,” he said.

Hoffman says he only needs 50 customers a day to turn a profit. But right now he’s only averaging 10 to 12. He says word of mouth will have to start traveling faster if the restaurant is going to survive the recession.

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The Blasco Mansion In Historic Downtown Las Vegas


P7214956 reduced and fixedMaria Elena Drive is simply one of the coolest streets in Las Vegas for classic Mid Century Modern architecture. Sitting at the end of the street (which is really one of the few cul-de-sacs) is the Mansion.  

It was built in 1970 and was the next to the last home built on this historic street. The street was developed by Joe Blasco, and was named after his daughter.  According to Geoff Shumacher, in his book Sun, Sin & Suburbia, Mr. Blasco had arrived in Las Vegas in 1952 to be a subcontractor for an ammo storage project at the former marine base at Lake Mead. Eventually he entered the luxury custom home market, and one of his first project was the development of what became Maria Elena Drive. In 1983 he began development of Spanish Trails, which led the way to the whole luxury home golf course community trend in Las Vegas.

I’d always heard that the home at 1400 was actually owned by Joe Blasco, but there’s conflicting stories. The tax record ownership history shows it first belonged to the Melvin Exber family until 1979. From 1979 to 1990 it was owned by the Steinbergs of Steinberg Diagnostic. It’s been known as the Augustine home since then.

Back 1Though not Mid Mod from the front, all the lessons of merged indoor and outdoor living are incorporated into the the home. The upstairs loft has a wall of glass looking over the treetops to Sunrise Mountain, and both the kitchen and down stairs family room have expansive views of the back yard and pool setting on the .4 acre lot.





IMG_4150One thing about a 5600 sf home is that all of the rooms are enourmous. The “smallest” bedroom is 13×15. There’s a ball room sized living room with one of the most gorgeous fireplaces I’ve ever seen. It’s faced with a pockmarked split stone marble that is simply stunning.

There’s more photos in the flyer in the featured home section in the left hand column.

I’m honored to have been chosen to represent this one of a kind custom home on one of the architecturally best streets in all of Downtown. The list price is $495,000.

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What Did A Huntridge Cottage Look Like When It Was New – A Restoration In The Historic Downtown Las Vegas Neighborhood

77_ext_fronthouse_0866_lAfter a year long adventure in restoring and “greening up” an original Huntridge Home, my friend and clients Soeren and Coni are finally finished, and looking for a tenant that’s as terrific as this restored gem.

One of the reasons they bought this property was because it was one of the very few Huntridge homes that still had the original footprint. Almost every other Huntridge Cottage has had the carport converted to living space, room additions to the backs or sides or second stories or a combination of all of the above.

When I first met Soeren and Coni, they told me they wanted to try to re-create an original look and feel, and yet have the home be energy efficient and up to date. We looked at a lot of homes, but only this one got chosen BECAUSE it was truly all original.

77_lr_0905_lSoeren had researched with several original owners, and found out that they had been delivered by the builder with wood parquet floors, so naturally, that’s what got installed.

He knew that the original windows were wooden double hungs, so he replaced them with the much more costly wooden windows that look original.





77_bath_0870_lThe original “salmon-ish” square tub/shower was intact and in condition, so it got preserved. We explored some other Huntridge homes over the months to find out what the tile work looked like. We found several examples that gave us a blueprint of what the bathroom looked like in 1942 and does once again. I couldn’t be more impressed.






One of the things that I knew for a fact was that the homes were originally built with NO INSULATION! Blown in insulation was added to all walls and the ceiling.  

77_ki_0887_lThe Huntridge Homes were built during World War II. In that period, kitchens were almost always a separate self contained space. One nice improvement to the original concept was the addition of the window and breakfast bar to open up the view between the kitchen and the living room. A different alternative would have been to remove the wall altogether, which would have created a nice open space, but at the cost of dramatically limiting the counter and cabinet space. I think this is a great compromise.




77_ki_0894_lIf you or someone you know is looking to rent downtown, I think this one should be really checked out. There’s more pictures and contact information on the website that Soeren created for this wonderful Huntridge restoration.


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Mayor Goodman’s Birthday Party Entertainment Announced

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, also known as “the happiest Mayor in the Universe” will celebrate his 70th birthday in Las Vegas style on Friday, July 31 with a public birthday street party at Fremont Street Experience.
Mayor Goodman’s 70th Birthday Celebration will be a Fremont Street Experience “street party” at the First Street Stage plaza next to Golden Nugget from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, July 31. There will be long list of entertainment and special appearances from Las Vegas performers throughout the event with a ceremony on stage with Mayor Goodman that will take place from 8:30-9 p.m., emceed by KLUC FM’s Chet Buchanan. Admission at the gate is a $20 donation with proceeds benefiting Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Opportunity Village and Three Square.
The schedule is as follows:
Friday, July 31
·     7-7:45 p.m. – Psychedelia
·     7:45-7:50 p.m. – ROK Girls from New York-New York
·     7:50-7:55 p.m. – Nathan Burton
·     7:55-8:00 p.m. – Fantasy Girls from Luxor
·     8:00-8:10 p.m. – Zowie Bowie
·     8:15-8:30 p.m. – Wayne Brady
·     8:30-8:37 p.m. – “Signs of Life” by John Van Hamersveld Viva Vision show
·     8:37-9:00 p.m. – Mayor Oscar B. Goodman’s Birthday Celebration
·     9:00-9:10 p.m. – Don McLean’s American Pie Viva Vision show
·     9:10-10:00 p.m. – Psychedelia

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Las Vegas City Manager Betsy Fretwell Meets Downtown Las Vegas Business And Arts Leaders

Brian Paco Alvarez, Mary Joy Alderman, Las Vegas City Manager Betsy Fretwell, and English MackThursday night, Betsy Fretwell, the new City Manager for Las Vegas held a casual meet and greet cocktail hour for Downtown Las Vegas Leaders. The business community, as well as the arts and the historic neighborhoods were all well represented at the Downtown Cocktail Room. It was nice to hear so many positive, upbeat, and energetic people throwing in their two cents.

The conversation was upbeat, and enthusiastic. Lot of great ideas got put out there. We’re real pleased that the City Manager is open to meeting with the Downtown Leaders, and willing to listen to us.



Susan and Art Ham, Betsy Fretwell, Mike NolanAttending with Betsy was Scott Adams, the head of the building department. Michael Cornwaite, the owner of the Downtown Cocktail Room, hosted along with his fiancee Jennifer Harrington of the Henri-Odette Gallery. I also ran into Mike Nolan, the general Manager of the El Cortez; Tom Bruny the marketing manager for Fremont Street Experience; Jonathon Jossel, who’s in charge of all the Las Vegas properties for Tamares Group, which owns the Union Plaza and Las Vegas Club; Art and Susan Ham; State Senator Mike Schneider, and his brother Steve Schneider, one of the founders of Americana Group (Steve taught the very first class I ever attended when I got my RE license). Neighborhood activists Gregg Brown, English Mack, and Mary Joy Alderman were there and so was Danielle Kelly from the Neon Museum. She’s also an art critic for Las Vegas Weekly; Brian Paco Alvarez, who is on the board of several non-profits including the Contemporary Arts Collective and the Hispanic Museum. 


Mike Nolan, Jennifer Harrington, Michael Cornwaite, and Jonathon JosselHot topics included parking meters, building and zoning codes, Circle Park, Neonopolis, FSE and Fremont East Entertainment District, the Arts District, commercial intrusion into the historic neighborhoods, vacant and abandoned properties and much more.


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This Ought To Be A Fun Foreclosure To Watch – An Iconic Mid Century Modern Home In Downtown Las Vegas

1701 15th Street Las Vegas NV 89104 photo by Jack LeVine - www.VeryVintageVegas.comThere’s one particular mid century modern home that has turned more heads, and generated more discussion than any other home in Vintage Vegas. It’s the Mel Close Home at the corner of 15th and Oakey in the Marycrest Neighborhood of Downtown Las Vegas.

Mel Close was a county commissioner in the 50’s or 60’s. The home is notable because the roof of the home is a solid concrete slab. and it’s truly an iconic example of desert modern.

I had it listed a year and a half ago, and got it sold for 500,000. The current owners made changes to the bathrooms, kitchen and flooring, but it’s still architecturally intact. Now, it seems, it’s headed back to the bank. I’m sure they’ll list it for 12 dollars or something silly like that. 

There’s a lockbox on it suddenly, this weekend, but I don’t see that it’s gone back to the bank yet, so for the moment, the status remains a mystery. Trust me, I’ll be watching.

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When All Else Fails: 3 Good Reasons To Do A Short Sale

The foreclosure crisis isn’t over, by any means. The face of it has changed dramatically, however. Much (almost half) of the current inventory that’s for sale are what we call short sales. These are people who have given up on trying to stay in their homes. Most of them now are not in that position because they bought at the top of the market. They’re about to lose their homes because of job lay-offs or the effect on the economy on them.

If there’s any chance of staying in the home, then every effort should be taken to do so. If you or someone you know is in trouble, their first effort should be to try to stay in the house. Hope Now was instituted a year ago, but is really just gearing up now.

Here’s a much easier opportunity to try to work something out. A 2 day Hope Now event at the Aliante Station Casino, today and tomorrow.



When all efforts to modify or buy more time have been exhausted, then the lender will probably want you to try to “Short Sale” it. That means finding a buyer at current prices, and having the lender accept less than what they’re owed.

There’s three good reasons to Short Sale Your Home.

First, the hit to the credit of the homeowner is much less severe than the credit score hit for a foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Second: The bank doesn’t want the property back. They’ll get more of the original principal back (and get it back sooner) than they’ll get if the bank has to be the seller after the foreclosure sale.

Third: It’s more likely that the seller will sell to a qualified, owner occupied buyer. Hopefully the new buyer will live in the home instead of renting it out; they’ll water the lawn and trees; they’ll paint and fix up; and they’ll generally help to bring back the look of the neighborhood.

I’ve been listing and selling and closing short sales all this year. The banks are cooperating. Most of the deals are actually closing now. A year ago, the banks weren’t cooperating and the deals weren’t closing and we were avoiding short sales like the plague. But things are different now. 

If you or someone you know has gotten to the stage of needing to short sale their home, please give me a call or send me an email. I’m here to help.  

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Westleigh Neighborhood Of Vintage Las Vegas Seeks Historic District Designation

Westleigh Advertisement - from LVRJWestleigh is one of the cutest little bungalow neighborhoods. It’s just to the west of McNeil. The boundaries are Valley View to the West, Charleston on the north, Oakey on the South and Cashman on the East. It’s one of the neighborhoods that I wrote about in the earliest days of VeryVintageVegas.

The Westleigh Neighborhood Association, with the cooperation of the City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Office and Neighborhood services have completed all the preliminary steps and are ready to make their case to the Las Vegas Planning Commission and City Council. They go before the planning commission on September 24.

Alan Choate covered the story in today’s RJ.

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This and That and Here and There In Vintage Vegas

Retro Vegas –

Retro_vegas_frontOur favorite mid mod furniture and home decor store needs to clear space for all the cool stuff they’ve been acquiring for the fall inventory. EVERYTHING IN THE STORE IS 50% OFF this week. Run – don’t walk! They’re at

I hope I can get there in time to grab those lamps I’ve been eyeing.

1211 S. Main, just south of Charleston. 384–2700

Huntridge Circle Park to become a Veteran’s Memorial? I’ve known about this for a while, and Gary Reese tells me it’s the best hope for the park. Some political balls would help also. I’m skeptical, and just want the park opened again. The non-profit that’s trying to do it is starting their fundraising, however, and has put up a website. It’s sure to be a hot topic tonight at:

A meet and greet cocktail hour for new Las Vegas City Manager Betsy Fretwell TONIGHT (THURSDAY) 7/24 from 5 to 8pm at the Downtown Cocktail Room on LVBS at Fremont. Betsy has asked for people who are really into Downtown Las Vegas to stop by and meet her.

The Fifth Dimension – Saturday nights FREE concert is part of the Summer of 69:Vegas or Bust extravaganza that’s going on all summer at Fremont Street Experience. I think I may have mentioned it once or twice. Based on the previous main event concerts, you ought to stake out your spot before 8:30. The concert is at 9 on the Third Street Stage.

It’s A Girl Thing –

It's A Girl Thing - Reed Whipple Cultural CenterBut I’m going anyway!

Reed Whipple Cultural Center
821 Las Vegas Blvd. N.
Reception: Friday July 24, 2009
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The exhibit runs thru October 24th.

(click the image for a bigger view)

Vegas Valley Book Festival Announces Keynote Speakers

 Kay Ryan And E.L. Doctorow To Be Featured At 8th Annual Las Vegas Festival

Kay Ryan, the Poet Laureate of the United States, and E.L. Doctorow, one of America’s most acclaimed authors, will serve as bookend keynote speakers for the eighth annual Vegas Valley Book Festival, Nov. 4-8, 2009.

Ryan was appointed the nation’s 16th Poet Laureate last year and will be making her first Nevada appearance as the opening keynote speaker at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St. Ryan, whose work spans more than four decades, is known for her compact poems that revel in sly wit, wordplay and rhymes.
Doctorow is one of America’s most admired and talented novelists from the second half of the 20th century. He will present the closing keynote address at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8, at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. Both presentations are free and open to the public.

“Doctorow, as a writer, is profoundly interested in American life, history and its ambiguities,” said Carol Harter, executive director of Black Mountain Institute. “He delves into our collective past from a variety of imaginative perspectives that are, quite simply, dazzling in the diversity of their forms and structures. And he does all this while appealing simultaneously to serious and popular literary audiences.”
This year’s keynote speakers are sponsored by Black Mountain Institute, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation and the city of Las Vegas. In addition, Nevada Humanities and the Las Vegas Review-Journal are providing festival support, with the local chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, as the official branding partner.

A celebration of the written, spoken and illustrated word, the Vegas Valley Book Festival is the largest annual literary event in Las Vegas. This year’s festival will present more than 100 authors participating in a full schedule of readings, panel discussions, book signings, workshops, poetry and spoken word performances, exhibitions, children’s literature and special events. All festival events are free and open to the public. 
For more information about the Vegas Valley Book Festival, call 229-5431 or visit www.artslasvegas.org\vvbf.

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Las Vegans Invited To 70th Birthday Party For Mayor Oscar B. Goodman – Friday July 31, Fremont Street Experience

Mary Joy Alderman, Mayor Oscar Goodman, Jack LeVineIt’s the Mayor’s vision for downtown that spurred me to create VeryVintageVegas in the first place. We’ve been on parallel tracts for many years. He’s promoted the revitalization of downtown proper, and I’ve been promoting a new “urban living” with the gentrification and preservation of the historic neighborhoods surrounding downtown.  It’s been a three steps forward one step back game, but the redevelopment of downtown, and the preservation of the neighborhoods marches on.

I’ll be there, and I’m hoping all the downtown residents and wanna be residents will show up as well. There is a $20.00 donation to charity, but we can certainly show the mayor that he has our support!


LAS VEGAS – July 22, 2009 – Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman will celebrate his 70th birthday in style on Friday, July 31 with a public birthday street party on Fremont Street Experience.
“It’ll be a blast!” Goodman said.  “I’m inviting everyone to leave their worries behind and join me for a one-of-a-kind evening that will benefit three local charities.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than to share it with the citizens of fabulous Las Vegas!”
Fremont Street Experience is currently in the middle of its Summer of ’69 festival and concert series and Mayor Goodman’s birthday street party fits right in with the festivities.
“We have the `happiest mayor in the universe’ and with Fremont Street Experience currently the `hippiest place in Las Vegas,’ we are proud to host the mayor’s birthday party,” said Jeff Victor, president of Fremont Street Experience.  “We are excited that the mayor decided to make his birthday a public event to raise money for three fantastic local charities.”
Mayor Goodman’s 70th Birthday Celebration will be a Fremont Street Experience “street party” at the First Street Stage plaza next to Golden Nugget from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, July 31.  There will be special entertainment and appearances from performers throughout Las Vegas and a ceremony on stage with Mayor Goodman will take place from 8:30-9 p.m.  Admission is a $20 donation and will be sold at the entrance gate. 
Charities will receive 100 percent of money donated with funds raised going to Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Opportunity Village and Three Square.
Bombay Sapphire Gin, the Mayor’s gin of choice, will be the drink of choice at Goodman’s 70th birthday party.  In celebration of the occasion, special “Good-Man Martinis” will be served inside the party on Fremont Street Experience.  With the $20 charitable donation, street party participants will receive two “Good-Man Martinis” or other gin mixed drinks made with Bombay Sapphire, plus a commemorative T-shirt and button.
“This is an opportunity for all Las Vegans to participate in celebrating the 70th birthday of our very popular mayor,” said Michael Severino, general manager event marketing of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada. “I thank Bombay Sapphire for helping with this `fun-draiser’ and we look forward to a great time.”
Fremont Street Experience is producing a special tribute to Mayor Goodman that will play during the ceremony on Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen.  United States Bartenders Guild will also make a special presentation to Mayor Goodman. Golden Nugget is the host hotel property for the birthday celebration.
“We look forward to the Golden Nugget’s involvement in this festive occasion,” said Brett Kellerman, chief operating officer of the Golden Nugget. “We are pleased to be helping raise money for these great local charities.”
In April 2007, Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, the 19th mayor of Las Vegas, captured 84 percent of the vote in his reelection effort to a third 4-year term.

As mayor, he was successful in acquiring a large piece of urban real estate in the city without resorting to eminent domain. Symphony Park, a phenomenal 61-acre planned development, will include the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, multiple high-rise residential units, business and retail opportunities. Downtown is undergoing a dramatic change, evolving into a vibrant place for living, working and enjoying entertainment and art venues. Bounding Symphony Park are the World Market Center and the Las Vegas Premium Outlets mall. The World Market Center is a state-of-the-art home furnishings trade show facility. When complete, the complex will exceed 12 million square feet with eight buildings. The outlet mall is the most successful of its kind for dollar-per-square-foot income. In addition, there are almost 18,000 living spaces being planned for construction in downtown. Also, for the first time in many years, multi-million dollar casino and hotel renovations and expansions are currently underway.

Mayor Goodman has been a champion of downtown revitalization, focusing his efforts on creating a downtown urban village filled with small businesses, boutiques, fine restaurants, bookstores and an art component where the public can have social dialogue and exchange ideas.

Mayor Goodman serves as the chairman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and feverishly works to promote the enticing destination of Las Vegas. Mayor Goodman has also started OPAC, Oscar’s Political Action Committee, to promote and protect the interests of Las Vegas. His first action was to donate $50,000 to the Keep Memory Alive Foundation, the think tank foundation for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

The self-proclaimed happiest mayor in the universe, Goodman was born and raised in Philadelphia, graduating from Haverford College and receiving his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has become one of the nation’s premier criminal defense attorneys, having been named one of the “15 Best Trial Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal. He has also been featured in numerous publications such as “Of Rats and Men” and even portrayed himself in the movie “Casino.” Mayor Goodman also serves on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Goodman and his wife of 46 years, Carolyn, moved to Las Vegas in 1964 with $87 in their pockets. The couple raised four children in Las Vegas. All four currently make Las Vegas their home. All were educated in Las Vegas and went on to acquire college and graduate level degrees.

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To The Moon – Alice, To The Moon

One last piece of moon walk talk. The headline above was what I was going to use for the article I did yesterday. Then I changed my mind. Then Vegas Judy sent me this cartoon today, so I decided I just had to share it in order to wrap up astronaut week. Enjoy.

Alice Kramden

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The Summer Of ’69 – It Changed My Life

IMG_4118I spent much of the last fews day remembering and contemplating space travel in general, the moon walk in particular, the year 1969 as a whole, journalistic ethics and who I was and what I was thinking when I was 15 years old.

This last few days, I watched countless hours of Walter Cronkite, finally saw “The Right Stuff” on TMC, attended the astronaut meet and greet at Fremont Street Experience, watched several hours of youtube vids of various space launches.



Apollo 11 270 Scott Kelly  072109








NASA Astronaut Scott J. KellyI was at a summer camp in Ohio that summer. We were all about the space program. I too, was going to be an astronaut someday, as was every boy there. The optometrist spoiled that for me. Actually, my visual genetics did it, but I had to blame someone. I lost 30 pounds that summer and grew 3 inches as well. No one recognized me that fall when school started. I also heard the word “gay” for the first time, smoked a joint for the first time, dressed like a hippie, and started letting my hair grow for the first of many times. There might even have been some sex, but I’m not telling. I WANT TO BE 15 AGAIN!

Because I was thinking about the kids I went to camp and school with, I also mentally re-visited all the really cool mid century modern homes and neighborhoods that surrounded us in Columbus, Ohio. I remember being fascinated by the 50’s and 60’s architecture even then.

I’m sure many of you had a similar experience this week. I hope you enjoyed remembering it as much as I did.

“1969: The year everything changed”

In light of (or because of) all that, I’d like to invite you to a book signing on Friday Night at the Hippie Nation Gallery at Fremont Street Experience. Rob Kirkpatrick will be signing and discussing his book “1969: The year everything changed”.

Here’s the press release:

LAS VEGAS – July 17, 2009 – Fremont Street Experience will host renowned author of 1969: The Year Everything Changed, Rob Kirkpatrick, for a meet and greet and book signing on Friday, July 24.
1969-The year everything changed by Rob KirkpatrickIn 2009, Rob Kirkpatrick published the book, 1969: The Year Everything Changed. Divided into four parts that correspond with the four seasons of the year, the book chronicles the history of 1969 in American society and culture. Kirkpatrick delves into such important events as the Richard Nixon’s inauguration, the birth of punk music and the first Led Zeppelin tour, Easy Rider, the riots at People’s Park, Stonewall and the Days of Rage, the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Woodstock Festival, to name a few.
The book signing will be held at John Van Hamersveld’s Hippie Nation Gallery & Records on Friday, July 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Copies of Kirkpatrick’s 1969: The Year Everything Changed, can be purchased at the event for $24.95.  All are welcome to attend this special meet and greet opportunity with the author and purchase a copy of his book to be autographed.



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Pop Outs Are Contrary To The Concept Of “Clean Lines”

IMG_4095One of the elements of modern design was the concept of “clean lines”. It’s defined by a lack of ornamentation. It’s one of the things that people do that really messes up the architectural integrity of Mid Century Modern homes. We sometimes, or often, refer to it as “remuddling”.







IMG_4097There’s lots of good (or is that bad) examples throughout VintageVegas. Here’s a particulary egregious version. It’s a bank owned foreclosure on the really cute street called Westwood. Westwood runs south off of Charleston right across the street from UMC Hospital. It’s one of the shortcuts into Scotch 80’s. All the houses on the street are bungalow or ranch modern. This one now sticks out like a sore thumb.

OLD HOUSE JOURNAL defines remuddling as: “misguided remodeling – that is, an alteration that is insensitive to the architecture or character of the house.”

 They show some shocking examples if you care to click over.



IMG_4096This particular home is listed by an agent at 1st Priority, but no one knows his real name.




IMG_4102IMG_4101 croppedWhile I was on Westwood Drive, I found a great set of support columns for a carport. We’d done a series on them last year, but it seems I missed this one. I presume they’re original, but even if they’re not, they’re absolutely in character with Mid Mod.


I invite your comments on the whole subject of “remuddling”.





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Fun Features Found In (not) Foreclosures – The Most Interesting Ceilings

Usually the “Fun Features Found In Foreclosures” are just that. They the most fun, original homes that are bargain priced foreclosures. This one isn’t a foreclosure, but it’s loaded with fun elements.

IMG_4092Each room has a different, hand troweled ceiling texture pattern. The consistancy, patience and perfection required to have created them is awesome.

There’s also a brick fireplace, walls of glass, clerestory windows down the hallway, decorative concrete blocks, a pink bathroom with sunken tub, and a whole lot more to work with that’s well worth preserving.
























The property is in McNeil. It doesn’t show well while the long term tenants are packing up. It needs a LOT of work, but it for the right buyer looking for a major project, it’s a real winner at 195,000. Listing is Courtesy of Debbie Zois from my Keller Williams Realty Las Vegas office.

McNeil is one of my favorite of the Vintage Vegas custom home neighborhoods. It’s boundaries are Oakey on the South, Charleston on the north, Rancho Drive on the East, and Cashman on the west. Primarily, the homes are “ranch modern” and were built in the early 60’s. There are a few homes from the 50’s and the 70’s as well.

Currently, there are only 6 homes for sale. The cheapest is gutted shell that was foreclosed on for only $79,200 (cash only) . It was partially rebuilt after the fire. The highest price is $325,000.

However, just so you know….there’s 16 homes under contract which is the highest ratio of listings to pendings in all of Vintage Vegas.

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

How To Reproduce Decorative Concrete Blocks – A New Summertime Series

IMG_4028I met Chris and Marilyn at a recent event at the Morelli House. They had just bought a very run down house on Hastings in the Alta Rancho Historic District. Now they’re regulular readers of VeryVintageVegas.

They’re wrapping up on the inside renovations and are planning to put up a decorative concrete block screen in the front of their home. Their favorite pattern, as it is with most people who I discuss the various blocks with is the “champaign bubbles”. But where to get them?

I get that question all the time. I don’t know. No one makes them any more. As I’ve mentioned previously, I get a call or an email once or more a week from people all over the country asking me if I carry this block or that one. Google is a wonderful thing sometimes. Other times – NOT. 

IMG_4031Since the champaign bubble blocks are nowhere to be found….Chris has decided to make his own!

He’d read that I had one in my collection, and asked if he could use it to get the proper dimensions. He came by this afternoon armed with every kind of measuring devise. Turns out he’s a retired mathematician, so we can count on them being precisely the right shape and size.

His next step is to cast a mold, so I loaned him my block to use as the the guide. He’s promised to let me photograph every step of the process. Oh, how I wish I had that much free time! This should be fun. Stay tuned and don’t touch that dial.   


Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 29 Comments »

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