Frasier Hall at UNLV
Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 1:01AM
LasVegasLynn in Endangered Site of the Week

Latest update on Frazier Hall from FCLV member Brian Paco Alvarez:


I just received a phone call from Regent Alden regarding the resolution to be passed by the Board of County Commissioners. The board will be meeting on Tuesday, November 20th at 9AM at the Clark County Government Center. For those who would like to speak regarding the issue it is recommend that the comments be kept short.
If you have any questions and or concerns please feel free to contact me or Regent Alden at anytime.




We have an update on Frazier Hall from FCLV pal Brian "Paco" Alvarez:

There will be a meeting with University Regent Mark Alden regarding Frazier Hall to be held Friday, November 9th at the TAM Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The meeting will begin promptly at 5PM the meeting will be for approximetly 30 minutes. 


The University of Nevada Las Vegas devised a master plan in 2004 that calls for the demolition of the university’s first building, the Maude Frazier Hall, built in 1957. The purpose for the demolition is to make way for a new Maryland Parkway entrance that can be a more eye pleasing focal point for the university than what is currently there.

The building was named after Maude Frazier who was a trail blazing educator in Southern Nevada. Frazier arrived in Las Vegas in 1921 and was a maverick for her time, as a woman and a teacher. She was known for her spunk and shrugged off the conventions of the time that required teachers to refrain from dancing or other forms of harmless entertainment. She became the high school principal and convinced the public to pass a $350,000 bond to build the Las Vegas High School (now the Academy). She later served in the state legislature for 12 years and was the first female Lt. Governor. Among her other accomplishments was persuading the state to appropriate $200,000 to build a university in Southern Nevada and then with the help of Archie Grant and R. Guild Gray, raised an additional $100,000 to finish the job. It was only fitting that the university’s first building should be named after Southern Nevada’s most influential early educator.

Frazier Hall currently houses Student Enrollment and Financial Services. Once these departments are transferred to a newer building, Frazier Hall will be demolished in about 16 months. Rather than destroy a part of Southern Nevada history, UNLV should embrace it and find a way to incorporate this historic structure into its new plans.

62-1150-frazier_hall1957.jpg Progress or history? Preservationists protest plan to demolish UNLV's first building

By Charlotte Hsu, Las Vegas Sun
Las Vegas Sun

A squat white box of a building facing Maryland Parkway, UNLV's Maude Frazier Hall seems nothing special. Outside, the paint peels. Inside, the ceiling, or something above the ceiling, rattles when the ventilation system turns on. Students wait in line to register for classes and request transcripts.

But as the university celebrates its 50th year, people are queuing up to save this nondescript ­- and some say ugly - little structure. Frazier Hall, the campus' first building, is scheduled to be demolished next fall.

A small portion of the building that houses the campus phone switch and other infrastructure will get a reprieve until the technology is no longer needed.

UNLV officials say it would have cost more to renovate Frazier Hall than to move the student services it houses to a new building.

The plan is to replace the building with landscaping, creating a formal entrance to the grounds.

"Most people who drive around don't really know there's a really nice parklike setting in the core of the campus there," said Gerry Bomotti, senior vice president of finance and business.

Razing Frazier Hall will make UNLV a more inviting place, giving passersby a view of lush, tree-shaded lawns now hidden behind the building. Maude Frazier, the pioneer educator who pressured state officials a half -century ago to build a university in Southern Nevada, will be honored elsewhere at UNLV.

But the classic Vegas blow-it-up-when-it-ages mentality doesn't sit well with everyone.

"I am concerned about just tearing everything down and imploding a feature of Las Vegas, which we do constantly up and down the Strip," said Nevada System of Higher Education Regent Steve Sisolak, who earned a master's degree from UNLV in 1978. "I don't know if we want to take that to the university."

If Sisolak is going to back demolition, " they're going to have to give me an awful good reason why they've got to tear it down," he said.

"When I heard this I thought they were kidding me," Regent Mark Alden said of plans to flatten Frazier Hall.

"I'm in total shock. Every time I think about it I start crying, and I'm not even a graduate of this school. But I have enough sense to know what history is," he said. "And history is everything."

In the early years, Frazier Hall was the center of life at UNLV. On Sept. 10, 1957, it welcomed 498 students to the first classes on campus. A library, science laboratories, classrooms and faculty offices were all squeezed into it, according to an exhibit at UNLV's Marjorie Barrick Museum in honor of the school's 50th anniversary . Snakes, frogs and lizards for biology classes lived in cages lining the halls.

Before UNLV had a student union, friends would gather on a patio outside Frazier Hall to swap stories or play chess and guitar between classes, according to a book on UNLV's history by professor Eugene Moehring . That patio was later enclosed .

During UNLV's early years, Moehring writes, rattlesnakes on occasion terrorized Frazier Hall, shimmying down hallways and making themselves at home under desks and on bookshelves.

Today different problems plague the building. Old age has left Frazier Hall's roof and its electrical, heating, air condition ing and plumbing systems in disrepair. Water leaks have damaged some walls.

Fixing the 16,600-square-foot structure would cost about $5 million more than the $10 million UNLV spent on the new building that will house the registrar's office and other Frazier Hall services, Bomotti said.

Honoring Frazier - not preserving an exhausted building - should be the priority, UNLV officials say.

"We're firmly committed to having some ongoing recognition of Maude Frazier's name and her early impact on campus," university President David Ashley said. Plans to destroy the building predate his arrival at UNLV last year.

The salute to Frazier could come in the form of a plaque or other memorial in the new student services building. Naming the new gateway to the campus after her is another possibility, UNLV spokesman Dave Tonelli said.


Article originally appeared on Blog (
See website for complete article licensing information.