LETS SAVE La Concha in LAS VEGAS!

ARCHITECTURE AND PRESERVATION NEWS for the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee (ModCom) and other Mid Century Modern, Googie, International, Art Deco, 20th Century design

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LETS SAVE La Concha in LAS VEGAS!

Postby SpudGirl » Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:55 am

My friend e-mailed me this snippet. I didn't even know the motel was threatened :-(


"Another Las Vegas Strip landmark is about to bite the dust. The La Concha Motel will be demolished tomorrow, Thursday December 11. The La Concha was built in 1959 just south of the Riviera by the Doumani family, which still owns the site. The 102-room motel, with its distinctive shell-shaped architecture, has been seen in several recent movies of the north Strip, including Casino and Mars Attacks! Tentative plans for the prime 5.5-acre site call for a non-casino hotel and shopping center."


First the Glass Pool, now this :-(

I hope the Peppermill is safe.

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Postby Futura Girl » Thu Dec 11, 2003 10:24 am

where did you get this news?
when i drove by last week - there were no signs like there were with glass pool...

------
add for clarification on 05-17-08:

when eric and i did our Mondo Vegas tour easter break 2003 - we walked through the halls and although it was run down - it was ALL still there and intack - down to the pristine spanish murals on the interior motel walls.
Last edited by Futura Girl on Sat May 17, 2008 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Futura Girl » Thu Dec 11, 2003 10:29 am

damn it. i wish i was up there to do something about this...
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stori ... 99106.html?"la+concha"

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Postby nichols » Thu Dec 11, 2003 1:27 pm

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La Concha Motel

Postby daybreaker » Thu Dec 11, 2003 7:44 pm

Wow, this news really stunned me.

I've never felt compelled to post on here before, but this is a good place vent about the La Concha being demolished.

I was just in Las Vegas two weeks ago and took some friends over to the (still standing) Peppermill bar. After the bar, we walked over to La Concha and just stood there admiring it for a few minutes. Everyone agreed that is was way too cool to be hung out to rot like it appeared to be. I'm happy I got a chance to see it one last time before it was cleared to make way for another resort.

Admiring mid century modern design in Las Vegas is like polishing the brass on the Titanic.

I was born and raised in LV. I lived there until I graduated high school. I've seen almost every building I admired from my childhood destroyed, or renovated beyond recognition. The Dunes, The Sands, The Landmark, The Moulin Rouge, The Silver Slipper, The Maxim, The Hacienda, The Boulevard Mall, countless little properties and motels...all gone.

The city of LV and the residents are not interested in looking back. It is a city very much focused on future growth and construction. It is a city that is really and truly interested more in master planned housing than a core of aging (although ordinary) housing units and established neighborhoods. A city that approves new housing permits, without the slightest clue where the water for that new construction is going to come from. A city locked in a drought and still confirming the resort's rights to water for lakes and fountains.

This news about La Concha really sucks.

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Postby Futura Girl » Fri Dec 12, 2003 9:42 am

here's the latest report from my pal lee in vegas...
the back la concha motel buildings are all rubble. the front shell still stands alone.
the el morrocco next door - also supposedly doomed by this new development - still stands for now.

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Postby nichols » Thu Dec 18, 2003 12:06 pm


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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:27 pm

I just uploaded 3 pic to the gallery of how the hotel stands (or doesn't stand now) in the gallery.
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http://www.lottaliving.com/gallery/view ... me=album54

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Postby texasdago » Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:57 pm

There's a hotel in Austin that looks like a poor-man's version of the La Concha... I tooka picture once. I'll have to look for it.

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Las Vegas signs have a home!

Postby Neonmuseum » Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:02 am

Hello-

Just wanted to introduce myself to this group. In reponse to this posting, the La Concha sign will have a safe home with our nonprofit organization, The Neon Museum. www.neonmuseum.org. We have over 100 historic signs from buildings that have been redeisgned and/or demolished and are currently raising money to build a museum downtown.

Rest assured there is a very active preservation and museum movement in Las Vegas that has tremendous public and corporate support. Due to our efforts the owners and developers now know to "call the sign museum" before changes occur and they often fund the removal and transport of the signs for us. :D

Our approach is to form partnerships in which all can benefit rather then pitting "new vs. old". This city was built and will survive through its own reinvention, but there is also room for preservation and we seek to find the best way for both to coexist!

The media may not always choose to focus on it, and those of us involved are often so busy keeping up with the rapidly changing landscape we don't the get the messages out ourselves.

I hope groups such as this will help us focus on and publicize the positive work that is accomplished every day in our city. More importantly that you will also choose one of our organizations to support with volunteer time and monetary support to help us continue!

Warm regards-
Sandra L. Harris
Executive Director
The Neon Museum
Las Vegas, NV

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Postby Futura Girl » Fri Jan 30, 2004 1:07 pm

i figured the sign was being taken care of - but what is going on with the concrete shell lobby???

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Postby Lynxwiler » Sun Feb 01, 2004 10:52 am

Sandra,
I'm glad to see you posting here on the ModCom website. Although we are based in Los Angeles, we are increasingly concerned with the preservation of cultural and historical icons such as the La Concha Motel and signage. There are of course others, but La Concha seems to be at the top of list.

I am among many who are thrilled that the La Concha neon will wind up in good hands. Perhaps the Neon Museum of Las Vegas can even reunite the existing La Concha graphic neon sign with its original, vertical MOTEL neon.

Please keep us posted on the growth of your museum. Let us know what we can do to help in the preservation and restoration of Las Vegas' neon signs.

Also, if you have a minute, could you let me know what happened with Fremont's Neonopolis? Why is there not more Las Vegas neon on display? Imagine my surprise to find so much Los Angeles signage there. What happened?

-Eric Lynxwiler

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Las Vegas preservation

Postby googieagog » Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:16 am

It's great that the Neon Museum is keeping period signs out of the crusher (or out of the hands of overseas private collectors). But calling this "preservation" is like calling a stuffed and mounted dodo bird "conservation." Killer signs should be left in their natural habitats or they will become extinct. Donation to a museum should be the last resort, not an easy out for developers trying to pretend they are preservationists.

The Neon Museum post above is also on the "new members say hello'' thread, so I've posted this there as well...

Dan

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La Concha on RPPN

Postby Christine Madrid French » Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:03 am


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Postby Adriene » Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:17 am

M-M, since you and I have already contacted Preserve Nevada, let's try calling Clark County directly. Give me a call and we can discuss.

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Postby Adriene » Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:58 pm

We can't let La Concha go down without a fight! I sent letters to Mayor Goodman and the six City Councilmembers by going to http://www.ci.las-vegas.nv.us/351.htm You can submit your letters directly from the City's website, or mail or fax them to the individual Councilmembers at

400 Stewart Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101
City Council Fax: (702) 382-8558

Important points to consider when drafting your letters:

La Concha was built in 1961 by world-renowned African-American architect Paul Williams, who also designed the Los Angeles Int'l Airport Theme Building and United Nations in Paris. See: http://www.viamagazine.com/top_stories/ ... ture99.asp

La Concha is one of the last landmarks of the old Las Vegas strip and is especially important now that we have also lost the original Moulin Rouge. (The 1955 Moulin Rouge was Las Vegas first integrated casino. It had been declared a Las Vegas landmark and was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.)

La Concha is a jewel, one of the rarest examples of mid-century modern architecture left in Vegas.

Ask if the remaining lobby (the shell-shaped lobby building) can be moved downtown and adaptively re-used, perhaps as a Visitor's Center.

Let City Council know that history becomes even more important in a city that is known for constantly "re-inventing itself."

Let's give it a try. Together, we may be able to save La Concha.

Adriene



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Postby Adriene » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:05 am

PLEASE WRITE CLARK COUNTY PLANNING TO HELP SAVE LA CONCHA!

Clark County is home to the World Famous Las Vegas Strip, so please mail your letters to the Paradise Township of Clark County:

Planning Division
Clark County Government Center
Paradise Township
500 South Grand Central Parkway
Las Vegas, Nevada 89155-1841

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La Concha Motel photos

Postby Tiki Lee » Sat Feb 28, 2004 12:16 am

Hi!

Here's a few photos of the La Concha that I took when my buddy MM told me of the bad news. Sorry it took so long to get 'em up here, but here they are for one and all to enjoy and download!
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
You should all DEFINATELY stop by to pay your respects before June, when I've been told the building will be torn down completely. While you're there, you can visit the similarly doomed "El Morrocco" Motel right next door, and then go drown your sorrows in the wonderful 70's lounge at "The Peppermill", which is also right next door.

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Postby Futura Girl » Sat Feb 28, 2004 4:24 am

lee,

i'm back in town and we are gathering at the peppermill tonight - call me - or i'll call you... maybe we can discuss some kind of action plan?

has vegas ever seen an architectural protest??? maybe it's time?

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Postby Lynxwiler » Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:50 pm

I've already written my letters of protest to the Las Vegas addresses that Adriene listed earlier in this post.

Don't forget to write in to encourage preservation of La Concha.

By the way, is the Peppermill threatened too? Or is it just La Concha and El Morocco?

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Postby Adriene » Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:43 am

I'll submit an article to the National Trust's Preservation 911.

What about setting up a booth and distributing flyers at the VIVA LAS VEGAS 7th Annual Rockabilly Weekender on April 8-11? Go to: http://www.vivalasvegas.net/

Here's another address we can e-mail our lettters to.
It's IMPORTANT to get your letters in...there isn't much time!

Kara J. Kelly
President & CEO
LAS VEGAS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
3720 Howard Hughes Parkway
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109-0937
e-mail to: info@lvchamber.com

Tel (702) 641-5822 Fax (702) 735-2011

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Postby Adriene » Tue Mar 23, 2004 10:53 pm

I've been working with the National Trust to get some press on La Concha. An article came out today in Preservation 911. Thanks to M-M for providing the great nighttime photo. http://www.nationaltrust.org/magazine/

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Postby Futura Girl » Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:40 am


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Postby Futura Girl » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:01 pm


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Postby Futura Girl » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:01 pm


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Postby Adriene » Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:49 am

IMPORTANT! LETTERS OF SUPPORT TO:

Mr. Andrew Kirk
Assistant Professor
Public History Program Director
Preserve Nevada Director
UNLV Department of History Box 455020
4505 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154-5020

Fax to: (702)895-1784
E-mail to: akirk@ccmail.nevada.edu

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Postby Lynxwiler » Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:19 am

Did I read that correctly? I can't believe the Tam O' Shanter is gone! Holy cow!

I'm going to Vegas over the weekend of April 3-5. This is far too disturbing and I have to get out there and photograph what's left.

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:04 am

I went and photographed a bunch of Boulder Hwy signs yesterday with my pal from S.F. Mr. Smiley (the guy with the world's largest smiley face collection - but that's another story...) and discovered a yet unknown to me - REAL HONEST DRIVE-IN - no, not a swap meet drive - but a real operating 5 screen (with the skelton of the original screen still in place and the quaint roadside neon sign). took some pics of that too... which i hope to get up one of these days... in the meantime...

Passed out a ton of "MOVE LA CONCHA" flyers at Viva Las Vegas this past weekend... so hopefully we'kkl start the groundswell rolling. Cherry passed out a ton after Charles Pheonix's slide show on vintage vegas - so hopefully it inspired a few folks to get active!

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:05 am

P.S. Lynx - we think we saw the Tam's letters in the neon graveyard?

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Postby Adriene » Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:54 am

E-MAIL ME FOR A FLYER! WRITE PRESERVE NEVADA TODAY!

THE LA CONCHA lobby building will soon be demolished to make way for the future---but this incredible concrete shell building has been a part of the old Las Vegas Strip since 1961! La Concha was designed by African-American architect Paul Williams, Hollywood’s ‘Architect to the Stars’, who designed over 3,000 buildings, including the Los Angeles Int’l Airport Theme Building – space age symbol of Los Angeles!

As Las Vegas continues to re-invent itself, we have seen famous casinos and favorite landmarks like the Sands, the Dunes and the original Flamingo disappear -- but amazingly, La Concha has remained. It may be the most significant piece of Mid-Century Modern in Las Vegas…and has become the symbol of Las Vegas’ incredible history.

La Concha is potentially eligible for the National Register, on a cultural, architectural and historical basis. Funding may be available to preserve La Concha by moving it to a new location for use as a museum or Visitor’s Center where it could become a tremendous draw for visitors, architectural students and the growing art community.

SAVE THIS RARE ICON OF LAS VEGAS HISTORY – CONTACT PRESERVE NEVADA!

Andy Kirk
Assistant Professor - Public History Program Director
PRESERVE NEVADA
UNLV Department of History Box 455020
4505 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154-5020 Mail or Fax to (702) 895-1784


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