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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mid-Mod Marvels: A Celebration of Mid-Century Modern Architecture and Design... TODAY!

Many say that Las Vegas is a place that does not respect its history, constantly throwing away its past in search for the better. Though that may be true in some regards there are a few jewels from our past that make Las Vegas a fascinating place for architectural historians to drool over. Especially historians and architects that have a penchant for Mid-Century Modern design. 

Las Vegas is dripping with fabulous examples of Mid-Century Modern homes and neighborhoods. Many of those neighborhoods are being sought after by young and forward thinking individuals and families seeking unique designs and large lots. Homes that are anathema to what is being produced in the cookie-cutter and McMansion suburbs of Las Vegas. The unique homes and buildings that continue to survive in Las Vegas are a testament that some things are still sacred, slowly being rediscovered and reclaimed by those who are willing to love these places again. 

This coming weekend the community comes together to celebrate Las Vegas' great architectural past with a series of events planned that will shed light on this important period of history. Please join me in celebrating Mid-Mod Marvels of Las Vegas. 

The Morelli House
Home of the Jr. League of Las Vegas

The Friends of Classic Las Vegas and the Architectural and Decorative Arts Society present:

Mid-Mod Marvels
A Celebration of Mid-Century Modern 
Architecture and Design

Friends of Classic Las Vegas (FCLV) and the Architectural and Decorative Arts Society of Las Vegas (ADAS) are pleased to announce a weekend of programming devoted to Las Vegas’ rich heritage of midcentury modern architecture and design, October 22-24, 2010.

As the Las Vegas community looks for ways to celebrate its rich and exciting history with residents and visitors alike, its significant architectural resources should not be overlooked. MidMod Marvels is intended to make the citizens of Las Vegas aware of the architectural gems that are in their own backyard.

The event will highlight a number of historic neighborhoods and businesses whose architecture was designed by or influenced by midcentury modern designs, including the work of architects Wayne McAllister (El Cortez and Fremont Hotels), William Krisel (Paradise Palms), Paul Revere Williams (Berkley Square, La Concha) and Welton Beckett (McCarran Airport) as well as local architects like Walter Zick, Harris Sharp, Hugh Taylor and others.

MidMod Marvels is an opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in a design era that has, in recent years, resurfaced in popular culture. Tapping into this current trend and linking it to its historical roots in Las Vegas will ensure a fun, educational, and exciting event with broad appeal.

The weekend’s schedule of events is below. Tickets for the entire weekend and for individual events are available at www.adas-lv.com or www.VeryVintageVegas.com

The Events:

Living the Mid-Mod Lifestyle Party

The fun begins on Friday evening, Oct. 22nd with a reception at the famed Morelli House. The Junior League of Las Vegas has graciously agreed to open their doors for a cocktail party to kick off our weekend of Mid-Century Modern madness.

Alan Hess will be there to say a few words about not only the era of Mid-Century Modern but also provide a bit of history about the Morelli House.

The reception starts at 5:30 pm and goes until 7:30 pm. Tickets are $25.

Junior League of Las Vegas
The Morelli House
861 East Bridger Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101-5539
p-702.822.6536 | f-702.822.6538

Mid-Century Modern History & 
Las Vegas

We kick-off Saturday afternoon, Oct. 23rd at the National Golf Course's (originally the Stardust Golf Course) Clubhouse with two panels on the era and Las Vegas.

First Panel - 
Mid-Century Modern Architecture, Design and Las Vegas 
Begins at 1:00 pm:

Panelists include Alan Hess, architects George Tate, Robert Fielden and Dr. Robert Tracy talking about the influence of architects such as Welton Beckett,Wayne McAllister and Paul Revere Williams on local architects such as Walter Zick, Harris Sharp, Hugh Taylor and the influence of Mid-Century design on Las Vegas. Please note that due to circumstances beyond our control, Mr. Krisel has had to bow out.

Second Panel - 
The News Bureau in the Mid-Mod Era 
Begins at 3:00 pm:

The Las Vegas News Bureau helped put Las Vegas on the map in the Mid-Century Modern era. The photographers captured not only the stars of the era but also the buildings and hotels of the era, most of which are gone or altered way beyond their original design. Panelists will include: former News Bureau manager, Don Payne, Current News Bureau Lead Photographer Darrin Bush and News Bureau Curator Brian Paco Alvarez.

In the evening of Oct. 23rd
Las Vegas premiere of the documentary, "William Krisel, Architect" 
Begins at 6:30 pm.

The documentary, produced by Design OnScreen and directed by Jake Gorst, looks at the life and the influence of William Krisel. Known mainly for his Mid-Century Modern architecture in California, Mr. Krisel's influence on the residential architecture of Las Vegas can be seen in the Paradise Palms neighborhood. Working with developer Irwin Molasky, Mr. Krisel designed the homes in that subdivison.

Following the screening, the will be a Q&A session with Alan Hess about Mr. Krisel's career.

Tickets for Saturday's events are $20.00

National Golf Course
1911 E. Desert Inn Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 734-1796

Mid-Century Modern Las Vegas 
Bus Tour

On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 24th, we will offer a double-decker bus tour highlighting the Mid-Century Modern neighborhoods of Las Vegas. This will be a different tour route than the one we did last year with new open houses at two Mid-Century modern homes. Neighborhoods we will glide through include Marycrest, Paradise Palms and the Scotch Eighties.

The tour leaves from the Reed Whipple Cultural Center at noon, include a stop at the Morelli House and will last three hours. The bus will return to Reed Whipple at the end of the tour.

Please be aware, like last year, seating for the tour is limited.

Tickets are $20.

Reed Whipple Cultural Center
821 Las Vegas Blvd North
Las Vegas, NV 89101-2030
(702) 229-6211

Now, if you want to save a few dollars, you can buy a three-day pass for $50. Passes and individual tickets will be available on the ADAS website. As soon as they have the page up, we will post a link here.So, start planning your wardrobe and your itinerary, because this is going to be one great weekend you won't want to miss.

Tickets are still available so go to www.adas-lv.com and order yours today!
Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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