Entries in historic preservation (6)

Preservation Spotlight: Karan Feder, Costume/Clothing preservationist

Costume sketch of "Showboat" costume from Hallelujah, Hollywood! production number  Photo courtesy of Karan Feder 

I had heard about Karan Feder's work as clothing and costume preservationist before I met her last September.  When our paths finally did cross, it was because my mother was moving to a Senior Living establishment and the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas was interested in some of her and my late dad's vintage clothing (my mother had outfits dating back to the late 1960s/early 1970s).

Karan has long been interested in preserving clothing but the classic Las Vegas era from the 1950s-1980s with its entertainers, showroom production numbers and the way that people used to dress to see a show, is of special interest to her.

She is the President of Entertainment Exhibitions and the Volunteer Curator of Costumes and Textiles at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas.

We had a great time talking about the challenges of preserving clothing and costumes:. (From the interview):

Feder: Another artifact of great interest to me is a one-of-a-kind Vegas stage costume donated to the museum. This is a large costume, as much sculpture as costume, measuring 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 5 feet tall. The costume is fashioned to resemble a paddlewheel boat.  Towering above the boat-portion, a marquee reads "Show Boat." There is a small handle crank on the right side of the costume that would have connected to the rear paddlewheel mechanism to create a realistic paddlewheel spin. 

The donation included a few additional boxes of parts, pieces and accessories that were said to go with the costume. It was easy enough to identify the matching cap, bowtie, cuffs and panties found in the parts & pieces boxes, but what to do with the included various lengths of pleated, sequined and ruffled trim pieces? 

Conservation and research continues, but with the help of the local entertainment community, the costume is now identified from the Vegas stage show Hallelujah Hollywood which ran from 1974-1980 at the

To read more of this fascinating interview, go to ClassicLasVegasBlog.com


Preservation Spotlight: Heidi Swank, preservationist

I first met Heidi about eight years ago when we were both involved in the early days of the Atomic Age Alliance, an organization dedicated to Mid-Century Modern Las Vegas.  She and her husband were both passionate about Mid-Century Modern architecture and wanted to learn more about Las Vegas' role in that history.

She and her husband, Scott, have a MCM home in the historic Beverly Green neighborhood that they have lovingly restored. They live in a 1956 Cinderella ranch designed by Hugh Taylor for Rose and Louis Molasky the parents of Irwin Molasky. They co-founded the popular Flamingo Club- a roving, invitation-only neighborhood mixer whose motto is “Building community one cocktail party at a time."

She is dedicated to the worthy idea that our classic homes are worth saving. While Las Vegas experienced tremendous growth in the final decades of the 20th century and early 21st century, its original neighborhoods offer a look back at not only how the city grew but through its architecture offers insight to those years before the explosion boom and what was important to the residents who owned those homes.


Beverly Green neighborhood  Photo courtesy of Las Vegas CityLife

In addition to be elected to the Nevada State Assembly for District 16, she is also the Exective Director of the Nevada Preservation Foundation.

The NPF is a "non-profit that provides historic designation and grant support to neighborhoods, homeowners, and business owners who reside in a historic area or own a historic building. The Foundation supplies much needed support to navigate the extensive process of obtaining local, state, or federal historic designations. Once designated the Foundation also provides grant-writing support and functions as a clearinghouse for grants benefiting historic districts/homes. As more of our state’s architectural past ages into eligibility for historic designation, it is important for the stability of our communities that we work to maintain our history."

Despite her very busy schedule, we were able to interview her for this series.

CLV Blog:  How did you become interested in preserving Southern Nevada history?

 Swank: As an anthropologist by training, I have long been interested in the ways in which our past makes us who we are today. In particular, I'm interested in how our built environment and the ways in which space is used in these homes reflects and impacts how we see them, how we use them, and how we understand ourselves.

 One of the more interesting things about Southern Nevada history is that there isn't a lot of time depth. Many people discount the area because of this saying we don't have any history. However, because our history is relatively new it is in many ways more interesting.

We don't have hundreds of years of

Read more at ClassicLasVegasBlog.com

Breaking News: Las Vegas Commission supports Huntridge Revival!

The Las Vegas Centennial Commission has thrown some major support behind the Huntridge Revival! Late this afternoon the commission voted to support the group.

More details at ClassicLasVegasBlog.com

Preservation Spotlight: Courtney Mooney

Historic Fifth Street Grammar School


Today's Preservation Spotlight shines on Courtney Mooney, the Preservation Officer for the City of Las Vegas. May is Preservation Month and this year we are talking to some of the preservationists, archivists and historians whose work towards saving our history isn't always acknowledged.

We've worked with Courtney on a number of projects related to our Classic Las Vegas preservation project, so we were very happy when she agreed to be interviewed.

CLVBlog:  How did you become interested in preserving Southern Nevada history?

 Mooney:  As a native Nevadan, our state’s history holds a special place in my heart.  That being said, I’m addicted to all history, including archaeology and natural history, because it explains everything about who we are as individuals and as a community, why we are here at this very moment, and how we can create our own legacies. 


You can read more of the interview at:


The Huntridge Theater Making Progress

We have a new article up on the latest preservation efforts surrounding the venable Huntridge Theater, including an article by Las Vegas Sun reporter, Joe Schoenmann, on the rebranding of the building.



Read about it here: ClassicLasVegasBlog.com

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