Frasier Hall at UNLV

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.


Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 1:01AM by Registered CommenterLasVegasLynn in | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Federated Employees Building

Our good friends at the Atomic Age Alliance need your help in saving this mid-century beauty of a building.  Kristen Petersen, of the Las Vegas Sun, writes about it:

Speaking of Las Vegas' vanishing past, the Atomic Age Alliance, a mid-century modern preservation committee, has targeted its first "Urgent Action Issue": saving the old Federated Employees of Nevada building at 2301 E. Sahara Ave. The single story office building, a n example of Googie , or space-age, architecture built in 1962, is slated to become retail and restaurant space.

The owner and a representative were to go before Las Vegas planning commissioners Thursday night with requests to reduce the number of parking spaces and alter land buffers. A report states that owner Jay Dapper plans to demolish the building. Calls to John David Burke, project architect, were not returned.

Atomic Age Alliance, which has a local and national mailing list of 3,000 , has not contacted the owner, but plans to approach the city regarding the value it sees in the building.

"It is a very fine piece of architecture and we have very few remaining examples of mid-century modern architecture left in this city," says alliance founder Mary Margaret Stratton. "Our concern is that they tear it down and try to flip the land" for quick resale.

Stratton says the group would like to see the building saved on site or raise the money to move the building. Another option is that the owner could save part of the building's facade, she says.

In January , the group published a mid-century modern tour guide of Las Vegas and gave a formal tour in conjunction with a national conference. The book includes the Federated Employees of Nevada building.

For more infoon how you can help: please visit the Atomic Age Alliance website here


 Thanks to the Las Vegas Sun for letting us use this photo.



Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 3:21PM by Registered CommenterLasVegasLynn | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Endangered Site of the Week

Each week a brief history on an endangered, historic site.


The Huntridge Theater 


Designed by renownrd theater architect, S. Charles Lee, the Huntridge Theater was built between 1942 and 1944.  It opened on October 10, 1944.  It's Streamline Moderne style and neon pylon sign were eye-catching in the small town of Las Vegas where the majority of buildings were only two-stories. 

Owned in part by Classic Film Era Film Stars Irene Dunn and Loretta Young, the Huntridge was built to accommodate the employees of the various factories  who worked eight hour shifts around the clock.

Next door was the Huntridge Station Post Office and the neighborhood that was built behind the theater became known as  Huntridge.  After the War, Lloyd Katz and his wife Edythe, were hired to manage and run the theater.  Katz had been a movie promoter in Los Angeles and brought with him his Rolodex filled with names of celebrities.  When "Suddenly" premiered, Frank Sinatra (the film's star) sold tickets from the enclosed box office and was photographed with swooning women clamoring to buy tickets.

As the neighborhood behind the theater began to grow, the theater became known for playing family oriented films.  Many students from Las Vegas High School, including former Lt. Governor Lorraine Hunt and KLAS General Manager Bob Stoldal, worked as ushers there when they were teenagers.  Saturday matinees, Disney animated features and serials such as Superman all played at the Huntridge. When I was a kid, I think a movie there cost $.25 and my folks knew I would be there all afternoon!

While St. Anne's Church was being built at Maryland Parkway and Oakey Blvd, the Huntridge hosted the weekly Sunday Mass for parishioners.

Unlike other theater owners in town, the Katz's were opposed to segregation of any kind and because of that, they did not enforce any sort of seating policy where African-Americans had to sit in specially designated sections.

But as the town grew, the neighborhood changed and multi-plexes became the rage.   The Huntridge Theater began to look more than a tad long in the tooth. It closed for a time in 1977 and reopened as Revival House for classic films in the early 1980s.   It's large, roomy auditorium was cut in half to accomodate two screens.  Finally, after years as a second and third run theater, the Huntridge was transformed into the Huntridge Theater for the Performing Arts.  It was a very successful concert and theater venue during this incarnation.

In 1993, it was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. 

A roof collapse in 1995 made it necessary to rebuild much of the interior.  The roof collapsed prior to a performance by the Circle Jerks.  When the band showed up and heard the news, they set up an impromptu performance for the 30 to 40 fans who were milling in the parking lot.  After the roof collapsed, money was obtained from grants and renovations were made including a catwalk, fly loft, loading dock area, green room and enlarged stage--and the upgrades and improvements turned what was once a movie house into a full-production theatre.

The Huntridge stage hosted diverse events from children's theatre, Mexican comedy and dance concerts, to choir recitals and church services. The Theatre also functioned in its original role as a movie theatre, holding screenings for events such as the Las Vegas Parks & Recreation's Summer Saturday Matinee Series, SPIKE & MIKE'S Animation Festival.

It was home to the first year of the CINEVEGAS Film Festival.  But the Huntridge Performing Arts Theatre was mainly known as Las Vegas's premiere all-ages Alternative music venue.

However, it was not to last. In 2004, the curtain came down on the successful venue.  The theater was sold to a local businessman (who owns the mattress store next door).  He talked of reviving the theater and applied for grants to restore the theater to its former grandeur.  From 1993 to 2001, more than a million dollars in grants were awarded to the owners of the Huntridge (both the Friends of the Huntridge and the current owner)

However, since that time the Huntridge has lanquished in a limbo.  The owner refuses to spend any money to restore the building and he refuses to sell the building.  Due to covenants placed on the monies he received for his proposed restoration, the building cannot be altered or torn down until 2018.

Preservationists and historians around the Valley are all concerned about the fate of this grand theater.  The Friends of Classic Las Vegas, the Atomic Age Alliance, Preserve Nevada, Preservation Association of Clark County and the Historic Preservation Committee are all keeping an eye on this historic treasure.


Thanks to Allen Sandquist (RoadsidePictures) for allowing us to use this photo.