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Beyond the Mint: Walter Zick and Mid-Century Las Vegas




If all Walter Zick and partner Harris Sharpe ever designed was the Mint Hotel and it's beautiful neon sign that would be enough.

But Walter Zick designed much more than just the most beloved, lost neon sign of Las Vegas.  He designed a variety of commercial buildings, mainly banks, schools and residential homes.

A lot of his architecture is still standing which is really amazing considering the reputation Las Vegas has with preserving history.

As noted here earlier this year, we became much more aware of Walter Zick's architectural contribution to the Las Vegas Valley when we got a disc from Jack LeVine over at VeryVintageVegas that had been put together by Zick's daughters in hopes of having a school in the Valley named after their father.

While the School District turned down the daughters, we came up with an idea and working with the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas and Nevada Humanities, we received a grant to do a program centered around Walter Zick and his mid-century architecture.

On October 3rd we will have a panel discussion at the State Museum on the work of Walter Zick.  Confirmed panelists include our favorite mid-century author and historian, Alan Hess, Assemblage Studios' architect, Eric Strain, Karen Zick Goff and her sister, Claire and neon designer, Brian "Buzz" Leming.

Following the discussion, there will be an afternoon bus tour of some of Zick's still-standing architecture.  The final stop on the tour will be the Morelli House.  Though Zick did not design the Morelli House, it's mid-century architecture makes it a perfect place to have a small reception before returning to the State Museum.

We are currently working out the bus route, which we hope will include a few stops so that we can see the interiors of some of the buildings.  Once we have all the details worked out, we will post them here.

Seating for the bus tour is limited and reservations will be necessary.  Once we have the reservation number working, we will post that as well.

So, subscribe to this blog because you are not going to want to miss this.  If you ever wondered what happened to mid-century modern Las Vegas or how it came to be, this is the program for you.  If, like me, you've always appreciated how modern our Valley truly was, you won't want to miss this program.

It's going to be historic, fact-filled and lots of fun.

So, stay tuned.



This program made possible by Nevada Humanities and the Nevada State Museum and the generous donations of VeryVintageVegas, the Friends of Classic Las Vegas, Brian "Paco" Alvarez and the Junior League of Las Vegas.

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Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for posting this photos.
Sharing with you some historical facts on Las Vegas.

Las Vegas History Up to 1899

- Southern Paiute inhabited area long before the arrival of the first Europeans.

1776 - "Spanish Explorers" came through southern Nevada.

1829 - The Spanish Scout Rafael Riviera becomes first European in the Las Vegas Valley.

1829 - Antonio Armijo arrives after his scout Rafael Riviera.

1844 - John C. Fremont Arrives.

1855 - Mormons arrive in Las Vegas and establish fort.

1855 - First Post Office established and is named Bringhurst after Mission President William Bringhurst.

1857 - Mormons abandon fort.

1864 - Nevada is admitted to the Union by President Lincoln.

1865 - Octavius Decatur Gass takes over old Mormon Fort and Establishes Las Vegas Rancho.

1880 - Archibald and Helen Stewart acquire Las Vegas Rancho from Octavius Decatur Gass for $5000.00.

1882 - Helen Stewart gives birth to Evaline La Vega Stewart named after Las Vegas.

1884 - Archibald Stewart murdered at Kiel Ranch - First Las Vegas Murder - Unresolved.
August 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlas vegas city tours

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