Mid-Mod Marvels Recap!

Our buddy Dennis McBride, the Curator of History at the Nevada State Museum not only saved our Saturday programs with his canny foresight but he also wrote up this wonderful recap of all the events:

A Successful Weekend

On October 22-24, the Friends of Classic Las Vegas hosted its second annual Mid-Century Modern event. Co-sponsored this year by the Architectural and Decorative Arts Society, the El Cortez Hotel, Retro Vegas, VeryVintageVegas.com, the Metro Arts Council of Southern Nevada, and RAFI Planning, Architecture, and Urban Design, Mid Mod Marvels proved once more the enduring popularity of mid-century modern living.

The weekend started with a swank affair Friday night at the Morelli House, maybe the best known Mid-Century Modern landmark in Las Vegas, owned and restored by the Junior League. League members dressed in period clothing, provided tours of the house, and hosted a meet-and-greet reception for Mid-Century aficionados. The Nevada State Museum supplied a series of photographs of mid-century Las Vegas from the Jay Florian Mitchell Collection to round out the evening. With plenty of wine and nibbly things, the evening gave a hint of the fun yet to come.


Saturday included two panel discussions and the Las Vegas premier of the film, William Krisel, Architect, a documentary detailing the career of famed mid-century architect Bill Krisel. The Las Vegas National Golf Club on Desert Inn Road, around which Krisel and his partner, Dan Palmer, built their iconic Paradise Palms residential development, hosted Saturday’s events.

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Mid Mod Marvels Weekend comes to an end!

Thank you to everyone who helped make the official second annual Mid-Century Modern weekend such a success!

Recaps to follow!


The Friends of Classic Las Vegas and the Architectural and Decorative Arts Society present:

Mid-Mod Marvels:  A Celebration of Mid-Century Modern Architecture and Design

The Events:

Living the Mid-Mod Lifestyle Party:

The fun begins on Friday evening, Oct. 22nd with a reception at the famed Morelli House.  The Junior League of Las Vegas has graciously agreed to open their doors for a cocktail party to kick off our weekend of Mid-Century Modern madness.

Alan Hess will be there to say a few words about not only the era of Mid-Century Modern but also provide a bit of history about the Morelli House.

The reception starts at 5:30 pm and goes until 7:30 pm.  Tickets are $25.

Mid-Century Modern History and Las Vegas

We kick-off Saturday afternoon, Oct. 23rd at the National Golf Course's (originally the Stardust Golf Course) Clubhouse with two panels on the era and Las Vegas.


The first one:  Mid-Century Modern Architecture, Design and Las Vegas  begins at 1:00 pm:

Panelists include Alan Hess,  architects George Tate, William Krisel and Dr. Robert Tracy talking about the influence of architects such as Welton Beckett, Wayne McAllister and Paul Revere Williams on local architects such as Walter Zick, Harris Sharp, Hugh Taylor and the influence of Mid-Century design on Las Vegas. 

The second one: The Las Vegas Bureau in the Mid-Mod Era begins at 3:00 pm:

The Las Vegas News Bureau helped put Las Vegas on the map in the Mid-Century Modern era.  The photographers captured not only the stars of the era but also the buildings and hotels of the era, most of which are gone or altered way beyond their original design.  Panelists will include:  former News Bureau manager, Don Payne.


In the evening of Oct. 23rd, we will present the Las Vegas premiere of the documentary, "William Krisel, Architect" at 6:30 pm.


The documentary, produced by Design OnScreen and directed by Jake Gorst, looks at the life and the influence of William Krisel.  Known mainly for his Mid-Century Modern architecture in California, Mr. Krisel's influence on the residential architecture of Las Vegas can be seen in the Paradise Palms neighborhood.  Working with developer Irwin Molasky, Mr. Krisel designed the homes in that subdivison.

Following the screening, the will be a Q&A session with Alan Hess about Mr. Krisel's career.

Tickets for Saturday's events are $20.00

Mid-Century Modern Las Vegas Bus Tour:

On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 24th, we will offer a double-decker bus tour highlighting the Mid-Century Modern neighborhoods of Las Vegas.  This will be a different tour route than the one we did last year with new open houses at two Mid-Century modern homes.  Neighborhoods we will glide through include Marycrest, Paradise Palms and the Scotch Eighties.

The tour leaves from the Reed Whipple Cultural Center at noon, include a stop at the Morelli House and will last three hours.  The bus will return to Reed Whipple at the end of the tour.

Please be aware, like last year, seating for the tour is limited.

Tickets are $20.

Now, if you want to save a few dollars, you can buy a three-day pass for $50.  Passes and individual tickets will be available on the ADAS website.  As soon as they have the page up, we will post a link here.

So, start planning your wardrobe and your itinerary, because this is going to be one great weekend you won't want to miss!

Support for this great weekend provided by:

City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission

Sponsors for this great weekend are:

The El Cortez

The Junior League of Las Vegas

Metro Arts Council

Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas

Retro Vegas

Terry Wilsey


Las Vegas Country Club for Sale

Norm Clark in his daily column NORM! in the Las Vegas Review Journal today reported that the Las Vegas Country Club is in talks with an unidentified buyer (possibly from overseas) who has an interest in buying the Country Club and turning the golf course into a high rise development.

I can't imagine that this will sit well with the residents who have homes or apartments around the Country Club nor those who live in the luxury Regency Towers.  The Las Vegas Country Club is one of the most fashionable addresses in town.  Kirk Kerkorian, Burton Cohen and Steve and Edie are just some of the well-known names that live in Regency Towers.  Many long-time Las Vegans live in the homes around the Country Club.  Moe Dalitz had a home there.  Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal had a home there (though when it came time to film "Casino", they used a home in Paradise Palms that is on the National Golf Course) and Tony "The Ant" Spilotro was rumored to have lived there as well.

The Clubhouse is one of the premiere lunch spots for movers and shakers in town.  At any given time you can see Robert Maheu, Claudine Williams, Matthew Callister and more dining with friends and clients.

The Clubhouse looks out over the Country Club and is a mid-century modern architecture delight both inside and out.

Joe W. Brown originally owned the land and it was part of a racetrack, Las Vegas Downs, that he bought when the racetrack failed.  Brown sold the property to Marvin KratterKratter developed the property and called it the Las Vegas International Country ClubKratter eventually sold the property to Realty Holdings.  Partners in Realty Holdings at the time included Moe Dalitz, Nate Adelson (Sheldon's father) and Irwin Molasky.

Stay tuned for more information as this story develops.