Las Vegas' most interesting cultural attraction is not on The Strip. It's the Neon Museum, which finally opened its new visitors center last weekend inside the lobby of the former La Concha Motel, a Googie masterpiece designed by Paul Williams. The Downtown Vegas museum, which opened in 1996, includes a boneyard containing over 150 neon signs from hotels, motels, roadside attractions, and businesses, dating back to the 1930s. Some of our favorites include the Atomic Age Stardust Hotel sign and a freestanding sign of a man known as the "Mullet Man." The museum has also installed some of its signs along Las Vegas Boulevard and on Fremont Street. More pix from the boneyard below.
Posts tagged with "Neon Museum":
Shimoda Design Group's Museum of Neon Art, whose future had been placed in Jeopardy with the closing of California's redevelopment agencies, has been saved, says the Glendale News-Press. Last week an oversight board composed of various Glendale officials voted to leave the museum's contract in place. The two-story, 7,300 square foot building with an adjacent 5,000 square foot plaza is anticipated to become the southern anchor for Glendale’s emerging arts and entertainment district. It will contain, among many other items, the Virginia Court Motel Diver, a large, bright red and white marquee dating from the 1940’s that will be placed on the museum’s roof; and a 20-foot-tall Clayton Plumbers Sign, with its giant neon faucet and neon blue drips, which will be located in the open air plaza.
We've recently returned from Las Vegas, where we visited one of the coolest institutions in the world: The Neon Museum, located on the far northern end of The Strip. The museum, about to celebrate its 15th anniversary, and ready to open its new visitors center next year (a rehab of the swooping, Paul Williams-designed La Concha Hotel), features a beautiful jumble of over 150 old signs that tell the story of Vegas, from mobster Bugsy Siegal's El Cortes Hotel and Casino to the Moulin Rouge, Vegas' first integrated casino, to the Atomic Age Stardust. The signs, scattered around the museum's "boneyard" in rough chronological order, also reveal the rich history of sign-making talent in the city, from companies like the Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) and designers like Betty Willis, who designed the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" marqee. As Robert Venturi reminded us, the city has influenced much of our country's roadside aesthetic. Here's a small sampling of what we saw. Enjoy! (Photos Courtesy Neon Museum)