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Archive for September, 2009

Las Vegas History and Mid Century Modern Architecture Events

Las Vegas history is one of key topics we cover at VeryVintageVegas. There’s 3 events this week for those of you who are looking to discover the roots of our city. Don’t ask me how I’ll get any work done this week. I promise we’ll do some real estate stuff this week, as well once we’ve covered the art, history and music scenes.  

Thursday, October 1st:

Moulin%20Rouge%20entrance%201950s%20copyThe UNTOLD STORIES series continues with a panel discussion and slide show on the topic of “The Moulin Rouge”, the first racially integrated hotel and casino. From it’s beginnings to the recent fire that finally destroyed the building, there’s a fascinating story.






From the Classic Las Vegas website:

On October 1st, we are focusing on the history and myth surrounding the famed Moulin Rouge Hotel on the Westside of Las Vegas.

The hotel opened in 1955 as the first integrated hotel and casino in town.  The opening night was attended by some of the biggest names in entertainment.  Everyone had high hopes for this wonderfully designed (by Walter Zick and Harris Sharp) hotel with its giant, neon-script sign (designed by Betty Willis).

The hotel seemed to flourish and stories have been handed down over the years of deserted casinos on the Strip late at night because everyone was at the Moulin Rouge gambling, hanging out and enjoying the jam sessions and the late, late show.

In less than two years, it was closed.  Rumors have been rife for years of the mob being involved, of financial improprieties and more.

On Thursday, Oct, 1st,  we will try to distinquish fact from fiction, history from myth and try to discern what really happened.

For time, place, and cost….here’s the link to the announcement at Classic Las Vegas

SATURDAY, October 3rd:

The%20mint%20at%20night%20in%20reflection%20copyVeryVintageVegas is pleased to be one of the sponsors of “Beyond the Mint: The Mid Century Modern Architecture of Walter Zick”. The location is the NEVADA STATE MUSEUM at Lorenzi Park on Washington, west of Rancho.

The bus tour of the Walter Zick buildings that still exist is sold out, and there’s a waiting list to take the place of any no shows.

Alan Hess is the featured panelist.  There’s a reception at 11:30am and the panel discussion is at Noon. Again, to Classic Las Vegas for all the details.

Monday, October 5th:

La Concha - Visitor Center At Neon Museum - Las VegasAlan Hess, the pre-eminent architectural historian is lecturing on the Mid Century Modern legacy of Paul Willams , and the fascinating topic of “Googie”. This event is at 7 pm, is free to the public, and will be held at the Historic Fifth Street School.

Paul Williams designed the conch shell lobby of the La Concha hotel here in Las Vegas. It was saved from the wrecking ball, and will be the new visitors center at the Neon Museum. It’s as good of an example of Goggie as there is.

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First Friday Celebrates Its Seventh Anniversary In The Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

October 2, 2009 6:00 pm -10:00 pm

A special note from the founders of First Friday!

October First Friday we are celebrating 7 years of Las Vegas favorite arts event.

We think it is fitting that on our 7th anniversary we have come full circle. An event that began as a grassroots effort by the arts community is now back to being a grassroots event. When Whirlygig, the non-profit arts organization that produces First Friday, was just three people we used to say this was our baby (yes we were all women) and that we would have to nurture it and watch it grow, reeling it back in when it became a teenager and once again watching it as it matures into a young adult. And what a lovely adult it is becoming with the help of the City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Whirlygig Board, Las Vegas businesses and area galleries, studios and artists. Thank you to all who have supported First Friday Las Vegas. We hope you will join us for another entertaining, educational and fun filled evening at our 85th consecutive arts event .

MISS FIRST FRIDAY– Tony James will be hosting our first Miss First Friday Las Vegas contest @ 8:30pm on the stage . Miss First Friday will be a representative of the event for one year.
Be sure to stop by the Clear booth for all of your wireless needs, Paul Mitchell for the lastest in the art of hairstyling and The Art Institute to find out how you can partipate in their art education programs.
We will be hosting more than 50 artists on the sidewalks and in the gallery spaces within the outdoor festival area on Casino Center Blvd and Colorado Ave.

LIVE MUSIC and DANCE  ON STAGE (Casino Center Drive at Colorado – inside the FREE outdoor festival area)
6pm The Nevada Ballet Theatre
7pm  Riezians Rotting Brian-80′s Pop
8:30pm  Miss First Friday announcement
9pm The Lucky Cheats–Rockabilly
Break dancers provide more entertainment on Colorado Blvd.

For a Complete Schedule of events, performances venues and transportation, visit The First Friday website

FIRST FRIDAY MAPFirst Friday is the showcase monthly event in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District. The map is clickable if you want to see a full sized version.

The Downtown Las Vegas Arts District is on both sides of Charleston, between I-15 and Las Vegas Blvd.

The “Art Scene”, “The Music Scene” (which is centered around the Fremont East Entertainment District) and the “History Scene” are all important elements of the culture of urban living. That’s why VeryVintageVegas promotes them along with the historic neighborhoods and Mid Century Modern Homes which surround Downtown Las Vegas.

I hope you’re getting it that there’s lots of reasons to live urban in Las Vegas.



First Friday Fundraiser






With the help of corporate and City of Las VegassSponsorship, First Friday remains a free event. However, they do take donations, and have wonderful cocktail party fundraisers. The next one is on October 14. It’s a great time to meet the movers and shakers and many of the local artists. We hope you’ll attend as well.







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The Worlds Biggest Decorative Concrete Block


IMG_5124I haven’t mentioned my favorite obsession in quite a while. Today I found the biggest ones I’ve ever seen.







IMG_5126Actually, these are storm drain pipes that are FINALLY getting installed as the last phase of the project on Oakey Avenue on both sides of Rancho.








In case you’re a relatively new reader and don’t know what I’m talking about….. you can click here to see last year’s entire series on the decorative concrete blocks of Vintage Las Vegas.


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Neon Museum Hosts Talk By Alan Hess – The Work Of Paul Williams and “Googie” Architecture

La Concha - Visitor Center At Neon Museum - Las VegasI’ve just found out that Alan Hess has agreed at the last minute to stay over after the Zick and Sharp Panel Discussion and Tour.

The Neon Museum has booked him for a talk on Monday Evening at the Historic 5th Street School.





We’ll update with links or a flyer if they become available, since this is happening with such short notice. At the moment, all we have is an email from Eric Strain of Assemblage Studios.

The Las Vegas Neon Museum, the City of Las Vegas and assemblageSTUDIO will be sponsoring Alan Hess on Monday October 5th at the 5th Street School at 7PM. The presentation is the kickoff of the design for the Neon Museum Visitors Center.

Alan’s presentation will cover the work of Paul Williams including the La Concha which has been relocated to the Boneyard of the Neon Museum as well as the architectural style of Googie.

Presentation is open to the public and everyone is welcome

Alan Hess practically wrote the book on Mid Century Modern architecture. In fact he wrote many of the books. His presentations are accurate and well researched and most important, they’re NEVER Dull.

If you can’t make it to SATURDAY’s Panel Discussion at the Nevada State Museum (noon), then you have a second chance to hear Alan Hess lecture at the Historic 5th Street School on Monday evening.

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Last week we introduced you to the mystery Led Zeppelin concert in Las Vegas. People have started coming forward who remember it and stuff is being dug up. One of the members of the band remembers the “wood floors” . I keep deferring to Classic Las Vegas, since the story was told to Lynn Zook this week by one of her regular readers (which should include all of the VVV readers, BTW). Lynn reports:

One of our daily readers contacted me with his remembrance of Led Zeppelin playing Las Vegas, at the Ice Palace, in 1969:

In 1969, it was announced on KLUC that Led Zeppelin would be playing the Ice Palace. The Ice Palace was not THE major venue in town that would be the Convention Center. I was confused.

Led who?

I went to Wonder World and found Led Zeppelin I. I recognized Jimmy Page from the Yardbirds, but who were Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones? What was the big deal?

I called the Ice Palace. Maybe there was more to the story. I asked if it was true that Led Zeppelin was going to play the Ice Palace.

The guy said “Yeah.” I responded, I swear: “Who else is playing with them?”




It was curious to me that in the “did Led Zeppelin play in Las Vegas” mystery thread at LedZeppelin.com  they left no rock unturned. Little gems like this one got uncovered. They unearthed all kinds of tidbits and references to and about the Ice House. 

I’ve really never been an “historian”, per se. I leave that to the my friends and the professionals. I just try to remember what they dig up. Watching this unfold has been fascinating. “PlanetPage”, who first contacted Lynn Zook and Brian Paco Alvarez, and then me a week later, has been one of the movers and shakers in trying to solve the mystery. She called me on Friday from Canada to personally thank us for trying to help them.  

Last Tuesday, “FSMITH9095” made an interesting comment that I’d share with you if you’re NOT going to read the entire thread from start to finish:

I love this stuff. Really interesting work everyone. Its combining the best of Zep,archaeology,civic record research,networking with interested folks and romantic memories. Sort of like Indiana John Paul Jones.. :slapface:

Las Vegas seems to have an especially strong attraction in that it is/was a mystery date and also the city itself holds a mystique and energy about itself.

I’ve always thought it would be great if someone published a coffee table book chronicling the venues in which Zep played;photos of the actual houses of the holy.

I’m sure there will be more developments. They’re getting peoples recollections, but someone, somewhere took a picture, or kept a ticket, or made a secret “boot – short for bootleg” recording.

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Mid Century Modern Architect Walter Zick Is Subject Of Panel Discussion – Bus Tour Is Waiting List Only

Nevada State Bank - Zick and Sharp Architects, Las Vegas NV, photo by Zane DonaldsonThe panel discussion, “Beyond the Mint: The Mid Century Modern Architecture of Walter Zick, with Alan Hess, is open to all who show up. It’ll be SRO, but shouldn’t be missed if you’re into Las Vegas History or Mid Century Modern Architecture.

The bus tour which follows the panel discussion is sold out. There’s a waiting list in case of no shows. So you can still get on the waiting list (702-486-5205 x 121). Even if you can’t get on the bus, you ‘ll learn a whole lot about Las Vegas history, and Mid Century Modern Architecture.  

Saturday, October 3rd.

Nevada State Museum

700 Twin Lakes Drive in Lorenzi Park

11:30 am:  Reception

12:00 pm:  Panel Discussion featuring noted Mid-Century Modern historian and author (and big fan of the Mint Hotel), Alan Hess; architect Eric Strain of Assemblage Studios and Walter Zick’s daughters, Karen Zick Goff and Claire Zick Walker.

Admission price for the Panel Discussion is $3, reservations for the Panel Discussion are NOT necessary.


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Untold Stories: The History and Myths of the Moulin Rouge

Untold Stories: The History and Myths of the Moulin Rouge!

On October 1st, we are focusing on the history and myth surrounding the famed Moulin Rouge Hotel on the Westside of Las Vegas.

The hotel opened in 1955 as the first integrated hotel and casino in town.  The opening night was attended by some of the biggest names in entertainment.  Everyone had high hopes for this wonderfully designed (by Walter Zick and Harris Sharp) hotel with its giant, neon-script sign (designed by Betty Willis).

The hotel seemed to flourish and stories have been handed down over the years of deserted casinos on the Strip late at night because everyone was at the Moulin Rouge gambling, hanging out and enjoying the jam sessions and the late, late show.

In less than two years, it was closed.  Rumors have been rife for years of the mob being involved, of financial improprieties and more.

On Thursday, Oct, 1st we will try to distinquish fact from fiction, history from myth and try to discern what really happened.

Joining us on the panel will be:

Carrie Pollard, dancer who performed at the Moulin Rouge back in 1955

Trish Geran, local author who focuses on the African-American stories of Las Vegas and who’s grandmother ran one of the most famous boarding rooms for African-American performers.

Claytee White, director of the Oral History Program at UNLV’s Special Collections.

Richard Taylor, local historian who has written two books on the history of the Rouge.

Thursday, Oct. 1st

6:30 pm

Las Vegas Springs Preserve

Desert Learning Center

Admission $9 (note the new lower price!), discount tickets available if you buy the next three months.

We hope to see you there!

Lynn M Zook
Friends of Classic Las Vegas

“Las Vegas: 1905 – 1965″ by author Lynn Zook, autographed copies available at:

Become a Friend of Classic Las Vegas today!

www.classiclasvegas.squarespace.com (blog)

www.classiclasvegas.com (website) 

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Congratulations To Some New Residents Of Vintage Vegas

We’ve got some new neighbors in Vintage Vegas! Welcome!

IMG_5037Brandee FINALLY closed on her new home in Westleigh. A hard fought battle, and one I’m real proud to say was worth the fight. We wrote the offer on the short sale on April 1st, and she closed, finally, today. They’re not supposed to take that long.



Jan’s in her new home in Francisco Park! She never believed she could a afford a home of her own for less than she was paying for rent. It was a short sale as well, but everything went like clockwork.

Shawn and Norma are starting the remodel on their new home in Watkins Glen, which is across Viking from Paradise Palms. This was one of the few “not-distressed sale” properties that I’ve sold all year. What a delight! I’d almost forgotten what a real deal looked like!

Soeren and Coni now have another Huntridge home to restore. They like to make them look like they did in 1942, but all greened up and and energy efficient.

Nick grabbed a bank owned STEAL in Charleston Park. It’s already rented with minimum paint and flooring expense after the closing.

Gus picked up a very original gem with hardwood floors in Oakridge.

There’s also a whole bunch of people who are waiting to close, and there’s several offers waiting for responses from the sellers. Homes are selling, and the inventory continues to dwindle.

There’s also all kinds of new insanity in the real estate market. FHA is tightening down on minimum credit scores; underwriters are asking for documentation that we’ve never been asked for before; appraisers are lowballing the deals that seem perfectly fair to the buyer and the seller and the agents. It’s not good for property values when that happens, but the buyers get the house for less than they originally agreed to. It’s a lot of fun out here, playing a game with no rules. But as I’ve said before, it’s a game worth playing!

There’s also a whole lot of fixin’ going on, as well. I see it everywhere I go in Vintage Vegas. The new owners are painting, watering, planting and cleaning. I think the downward trend has ended in both in prices and in the look of the neighborhoods. If you see a terrific transformation that’s in progress or just completed…. give me a call or send an email with the address. I’d like to showcase them.

IMG_5039A great example is BOB and TONY in paradise Palms. You can see this house at the corner of Delaware and Mohigan in Paradise Palms. They took advantage of the Water District’s offer to pay you to take out your lawn.  What they did is so easy, and looks so good compared a boring yard of one colored rock.







When you drive by, check out the way the squares mirror the pattern in the wrought iron gates.


Congratulations to our new Vintage Vegas Neighbors and to everyone who’s fixing up their places.



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You Want Vintage? They’ve Got REAL Vintage

Dave Surratt reports some REAL Vintage at CityLifeBlog

Samsontrex-300x267The international auctioneers at L.A.-based Bonhams & Butterfields are holding their first natural history-themed auction at The Venetian on Sat., Oct 3. Up for bid? Gobs of fossilized, long-dead awesomeness, including:



  • an assortment of ancient leaf and fish specimens much like the little smudgy ones you’ll find at rock shops for $25, except much bigger, clearer and valued between $1,000 and $50,000
  • rock-embedded opalescent ammonites, looking like snail shells dipped in delicious rainbow sauce
  • the long, underbite-stricken skull of a prehistoric cave bear
  • a single, mounted vertebra from a Triceratops — that squat, three-horned thing we’ve all seen ramming its lethal head into the underbelly and crotch of attacking Tyrannosaurus in movies and dreams.
  • a set of four mounted Tyrannosaurus rex teeth B & B expects to go for as much as $10,000
  • a 25-foot shark skeleton found in Kansas, where they don’t like to talk about what happened 82 million years ago
  • the world’s largest known set of shark jaws, including seven-inch teeth and massive enough for a man to stand inside and pretend it’s the last place he’ll ever stand
  • a complete wooly mammoth skeleton, tusks and all
  • a “massive turtle cluster,” indicative of some catastrophic geological event that waxed them all at once

… and the auction’s flagship piece:

  • “Samson,” a 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton unearthed 17 years ago in Buffalo, South Dakota

Samson is one of the most complete T. rex skeletons ever found, consisting of 170 bones (55 percent of the original animal) including a very intact skull on which scientists have even found evidence of healed injury and disease, providing valuable clues as to how this creature — actually a female — spent its days on ancient Earth. In 2000, the finding fossil hunter tried to sell Samson (then dubbed Z-Rex) on eBay for between $8 million and $12 million. No dice. The skeleton was successfully sold a year later to British millionaire Graham Ferguson Lacey for an undisclosed amount, before then spending a couple years on loan and under intense scientific scrutiny at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Now Samson is on the block again, looking for another loving, drenched-in-disposable-income owner who’ll perhaps display her in some cavernous basement rumpus room until, perhaps, said owner finds himself relentlessly haunted by the billowy, CGI-ish ghost of a long-dead superpredator demanding the dignity of proper re-burial.

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Led Zeppelen In Las Vegas -1969? A History Mystery Surfaces

Supposedly, Led Zeppelin played Las Vegas in 1969, shortly after the release of their first album, and before they were mega big. There’s serious people who seriously care about solving the mystery of whether Led Zeppelin actually played a gig  on August 11, 1969 at the Ice Palace in the Commercial Center.

It’s mentioned in a Las Vegas Weekly article of the top 25 concerts ever held in Las Vegas. The thing is, there doesn’t seem to be any PROOF that it happened, and there are conflicts with other proven dates and venues that might suggest that it couldn’t have happened.

They’re trying to get to the bottom of it on a forum on the official Led Zeppelin website. I got contacted because they googled commercial center and came up with a post I did about the resurrection of Commercial Center. Naturally, I contacted Lynn Zook at Classic Las Vegas, Brian Paco Alvarez, and Dennis McBride from the Nevada State Museum. Turns out they all got turned on to the mystery last week, and I was late to the party. Our historians are scouring the archives, and they’ve even been doing research into, for example, Metro’s records for the dates to see of there were any calls to the Ice Palace. I have nothing personally to offer up, so….

We decided to put it out to the VeryVintageVegas and ClassicLasVegas blog audiences:

Any of you boomers remember being there? Hearing about it? Got a ticket stub, or a picture or anything?

Leave messages in the comments. JAS is doing the research and he’s watching to see if you any of you can help us prove once and for all that Led Zeppelin played Vegas in 1969.

And for those of you younger readers who may have never heard of Led Zeppelin. This was when rock was really rock:

The violin bow sequence that’s referrenced in the LasVegasWeekly piece starts at right about 3:00.

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Investors Making It Difficult On The First Time Homebuyer

I’m going to spend more time on real estate this week. In keeping with that pledge, I thought I’d present some more proof about what I’ve been ranting about lately. I’m not the only agent with a list of frustrated buyers.

From Channel 8 Eyewitness News.

There are several houses on the market right now, but potential buyers are finding out getting into one of these homes isn’t as easy as seems. Even though foreclosed homes are getting multiple offers, hopeful buyers are learning that cash will usually win.


Real estate broker Thomas Blanchard says banks are accepting lower offers from investors because they can pay cash. “They are choosing the cash offers over the conventional and FHA due to the fact that there is no appraisal needed — there’s no lender requirements. It’s a clean deal so they know when they put the deal into escrow it’s going to close,” he said.

If I were Bill Mauer, I’d be making a NEW RULE!

No Investors allowed on bank owned homes that are acceptable for FHA financing.

And / or:

Banks are required to take the highest bid.

HUD which sells the homes that are owned by FHA has this rule in place. There’s a 10 day “owner occupant only” bidding period. If it doesn’t sell to an owner occupied buyer, then it’s opened up for the investors. Some of their listings are labeled as “not eligible for FHA financing” in the first place. (All of the Hud homes are in the MLS, and easy to spot).

I’m only comfortable making that rule because the banks have gotten all the bail out money. They shouldn’t have it both ways. The banks are selling the homes for less than the market will bear, while getting taxpayer bail out money. What good are stimulous “tax credits” to first time buyers if they’re shut out of the process? As a taxpayer, that’s the top of my “infuriating” list.

We’re actually having much better luck with the short sales for the first time buyer, even though the wait is longer. The other advantange of short sales is that usually the seller is still in the house, and it’s in much better condition than the bank owned homes. Dead landscapes are a huge issue in the bank owned homes. Landscapes in the short sales tend to be neglected, but not dead.  

In any case, it’s still worth the time and effort since homes right now are selling at 30 to 40 percent below “fair market value”. We’re not in a fair market now. We’re actually in the “anti-bubble”. Properties are as proportionately below fair market as they were above fair market in 2006 at the height of the bubble.



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Architectural Historian Alan Hess To Lead Discussion – Beyond The Mint: Mid Century Modern Arichtecture of Walter Zick

The Mint - Las Vegas - courtesy of Classic Las VegasVeryVintageVegas is one of the sponsors of this panel discussion and bus tour of the architecture of Walter Zick.

We’ve waited patiently for the RSVP line to open up. There’s only 72 seats on the bus. The Panel Discussion can accomodate however many show up. You don’t want to miss out. Call now if you want to go on the bus tour. Just show up at the Nevada State Museum if you’re attending the panel discussion only.




From The Classic Las Vegas Blog:

You’ve waited patiently and we appreciate that.  Here is the latest information on our October 3rd event highlighting the work of local architect Walter Zick with a focus on his mid-century modern homes and commercial buildings.

If you went to school at Hyde Park Jr. High, John C. Fremont, Western, Valley or Clark, if you banked at the Bank of Las Vegas/Valley Bank or bank today at the Bank of America on West Charleston and Decatur, you’ve been in a Walter Zick designed building.

If you spent time at Southern Nevada Memorial Hospital (today UMC) in the 1960s, the Flora Dungan Humanities Building at UNLV or the old Safeway and W.T. Grants on the corner of Maryland Parkway and E. Charleston, you’ve been in Walter Zick designed buildings.

If you love the Mint and it’s beautiful pink and white neon sign, you know Walter Zick.

Walter Zick, along with his partner Harris Sharp, changed the look of post-war Las Vegas. From schools to banks to residential homes, Walter Zick and Harris Sharp put their stamp on Las Vegas.  They designed buildings for the Test Site, for housing projects, for government buildings.  They also designed hotels like the Moulin Rouge, the Mint and the Union Plaza.  They worked on early remodels of the El Rancho Vegas and the Flamingo.

Much of that architecture is still standing.

We have planned a day of exploring the talent of Walter Zick and we invite you to join us.

Saturday, October 3rd.

Nevada State Museum

700 Twin Lakes Drive in Lorenzi Park

11:30 am  Reception

12:00 pm

Panel Discussion featuring noted Mid-Century Modern historian and author (and big fan of the Mint Hotel), Alan Hess; architect Eric Strain of Assemblage Studios and Walter Zick’s daughters, Karen Zick Goff and Claire Zick Walker.

Admission price for the Panel Discussion is $3, reservations for the Panel Discussion are NOT necessary.

Immediately following the Panel Discussion, there will be an afternoon bus tour around Las Vegas pointing out some of the still standing architecture of Walter Zick.  There will be four stops on the tour.  The fifth and final stop will be at the Morelli House, while not designed by Zick, is a beautiful example of mid-century modern architecture.  The Junior League has graciously offered to host tours of the house for tour participants.

RSVP’s are MANDATORY for the bus tour due to limited seating.  Leave your name and phone number on the voicemail.  Both are important as we will be calling a few days before to confirm all the reservations.  Admission price is $5.

You must call 702-486-5205 x 121 to RSVP.  Leave your name and a working phone number.

1:30 pm  Bus Loading

2:00 – 6:00  Bus Tour

The bus will return to the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas by 6:30 pm.

Once we have reached the seating capacity of the bus, we will have a will-call list as well.  We recommend calling as soon as possible to insure that you get a seat on the bus.

This should be a wonderful day of history, fun and a  chance to learn about buildings that you have loved for years.

This event is made possible by the generous support of:

Nevada Humanities, the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas; the Friends of Classic Las Vegas, VeryVintageVegas.com; the Junior League of Las Vegas, the Atomic Age Alliance and Brian “Paco” Alvarez.

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The Silver Slipper Neon Sign To Be Installed Tonight In The Cultural Corridor Of Downtown Las Vegas

Cultural Corridor’s Third Neon Sign Moves To New Home

Silver Slipper Sign - photo courtesy of VegasRetro.com c-Robert Scott HooperThe last of three vintage Las Vegas neon signs will be set into place on Las Vegas Boulevard, in the Cultural Corridor, beginning at 11:30 p.m. tonight, Sept. 17. The completely refurbished Silver Slipper sign will be installed in a median island south of Washington Avenue, as part of the $1.1 million Neon Sign Improvement Project.

The famous slipper used to sit atop the Silver Slipper Gambling Hall, as a part of what used to be called the Last Frontier Village, a replica of an old western town on Las Vegas Boulevard. Although the Silver Slipper opened in 1950, the sign did not go up until the 1960s. The Last Frontier became the New Frontier, which was eventually absorbed into the Frontier. The slipper was designed by Jack Larsen, Sr., a designer at Young Electric Sign Company. The sign is 12 feet high and 17 feet wide. The slipper’s main body contains 900 incandescent light bulbs, with about 80 more in the bow.

The Neon Sign Improvement Project includes the complete restoration of three historic neon signs for placement on Las Vegas Boulevard, from Bonanza Road to just north of Washington. New landscaped median islands are also being installed.

On Aug. 24, the Bow & Arrow Motel neon sign was set into place north of Bonanza. That was followed, a week later, by the installation of the Binion’s Horseshoe sign north of Washington.

Once the installation of all three signs is completed, crews will work to provide power and conduct a series of tests prior to the signs being officially put into service.

These historic signs on Las Vegas Boulevard are in the heart of Las Vegas’ Cultural Corridor. The corridor is made up of the highest concentration of cultural institutions in Las Vegas and includes Cashman Center, the Las Vegas Library, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, The Neon Museum, the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park and the Reed Whipple Cultural Center.

The three signs are also the first in a series of historic neon signs that will be completely restored and eventually placed on Las Vegas Boulevard, from Washington to Sahara Avenue, as part of the Las Vegas Boulevard Scenic Byway Program.

Funding for these improvements is provided by the Centennial license plate fund and the city of Las Vegas. The three neon signs are on loan from the Neon Museum.

Rafael Construction is the contractor. The city of Las Vegas Department of Public Works is managing the project. Construction started in May and the project is slated for completion in October.

(A tip of the fedora to Lee Plotkin for spotting this on the Nevada DOT Facebook page)

The photo above is from the amazing collection of famed Las Vegas photographer Robert Scott Hooper. His collection is at VegasRetro.com (warning– you’ll get stuck there for a couple of hours)

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Let’s keep this going. EVERYONE’s Invited!

Barb B. suggested it.

Sept. 18, this Friday, 7:30 pm, a Luv In swarm at Luv Its. Show your neighborhood pride. Come dressed as your favorite sketchy neighborhood character. Show Mindy what danger really is. Walk, if you dare! Or just eat frozen custard.
I’m not done whining, yet! Hope you’re not either.

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Fun Features Found In Foreclosures

IMG_4744I looked back thru the blog and realized we haven’t done any real estate in a while. We’re all having too much fun with the art and music scene, history, urban living. It’s time for some Mid Century Modern!

This ones not on the market yet. The agent doesn’t know what the price will be. It could go anywhere from 80,000 to 150,000. I can’t even say what it OUGHT to be. Even the appraisers are pulling out their hair right now trying to figure things out.



For example, I could use the sale on Oakey at 150,000 as a comp, or I could use the sale 5th Place at 80,000. They’re approximately the same size and don’t have pools. Maybe we should compare it to some current pendings. 8th Street’s under contract for 165,000. Canosa is the same size, has a pool, and is under contract for somewhere way above the 55,000 list price (I know because I wrote offers close to 100,000 on it and we didn’t get the deal).

IMG_4746Yesterday, I had a bank complaining on a short sale because the appraisal came in so low. Well, guess what? It’s the same bank that gave away one of the comparables that was used on the appraisal. In the recent radio interview on KNPR, I mentioned how the banks are acting criminally, in my opinion, and this is just another example. I know that there were higher offers than the one the bank took on the house that was used as a comp. Then they complain on the short sale because the appraisal was so low. It’s insane.

BUT, someone’s going to get a terrific original bathroom, fabulous original condition (except for the granite counters – which I don’t have a problem with) kitchen and a few other fun features. I just don’t know who to tell about it, because I don’t have a price yet.

I’m just putting it out there to make the point that there’s always cool stuff popping up. ALL of it is bargain priced. Being the winning buyer isn’t as easy as it ought to be, but it’s certainly worth the effort to try. If you’ve been sitting on the fence, maybe it’s time that we talked. 

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 4 Comments »

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