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  UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library-> Collections -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections -> Las Vegas driving tours (self guided)

Self guided tour #1b: Downtown Las Vegas (south of Fremont Street)

1. University Medical Center ER/ICU/NSCU Addition

2. Clark County Government Center
3. Regional Transportation Commission/Regional Flood Control District Administrative Headquarters
4. Clark County Detention Center
5. Regional Justice Center
6. Lewis Avenue Pedestrian Corridor
7. Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse
8. Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts
9. Huntridge Theatre
10. Fifth Street School
11. Victory Hotel
12. Jay Dayton Smith House
13. Railroad Cottage Historic District
Print driving tour pamphlet: downtown01b.doc Note: print file in landscape mode





1. University Medical Center ER/ICU/NSCU Addition
Architect(s): Dekker Perich Holmes Sabatini
Address: 1800 W. Charleston Blvd.
Year: 2000-3

University Medical Center, Southern Nevada's premiere health care provider, was desperately in need of more space and a comprehensive master plan to bring order to over 30 years of expansion. In addition to the master plan, DPHS also designed a 50,000 square-foot facility housing an Emergency Room, Intensive Care Unit, and Neural Surgical Care Unit. A prominent new entrance for the complex on the south features a twenty-foot wide promenade with a central atrium. The addition is clad in sandstone, colored masonry units, stucco, aluminum storefront, and tinted insulated glazing.



Photo provided by Liz Fuentes (July 2003).




University Medical Center ER/ICU/NSCU Addition

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2. Clark County Government Center
Architect(s): Fentress Bradburn, Domingo Cambeiro
Address: 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy.
Year: 1995

The Clark County Government Center is a 350,000 square-foot facility featuring a sculptural, expressionistic form, drawing inspiration from the desert instead of the area's gaming influence. The building consists of a steel and concrete core with a terracotta sandstone exterior, making it very visible from I-15 and US-95. The Government Center boasts one of the most dramatic non-casino spaces in Las Vegas within the multi-story central rotunda. A pyramid structure houses the cafeteria and a large amphitheater is used for public events such as concerts and fairs.

 

 



Photo provided by Liz Fuentes (July 2003).



Clark County Government Center

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3. Regional Transportation Commission/Regional Flood Control District Administrative Headquarters
Architect(s): RAFI, Fentress Bradburn
Address: 600 S. Grand Central Pkwy.
Year: 1999

The RTC/RFCD's building reflects the environment and context of which it is a part by referencing the Anasazi Indian culture. The central courtyard features a pond, desert landscaping, and seating areas, and is surrounded by undulating, curved walls, creating a box canyon-like space. The building's exterior represents one of the Anasazi's masonry styles and consists of ashlar stone, which complements the Clark County Government Center next door, but still gives the building its own personality. This building won an AIA Nevada Design Award in 1999.

 


Photo provided by Liz Fuentes (July 2003).

 

 





Regional Transportation Commission/Regional Flood Control District Administrative Headquarters

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4. Clark County Detention Center
Architect(s): HOK and JMA Architects (original) and HCA and Dworsky Nevada (addition)
Address: 330 S. Casino Center
Year: 1984 and 2002

This building was purposely designed to resemble an office building instead of a jail to blend into downtown. The 350,000 square-foot facility is twelve stories tall, clad with glazed brick, and contains 1,450 beds. The Detention Center and Clark County Courthouse a few blocks away are connected through underground passageways to securely move inmates from one building to the other. A 320,000 square-foot expansion by HCA and Dworsky Nevada, the south building (left in the photo), opened in 2002 and has provided 1,300 additional beds. The expansion design won an AIA Nevada Design Award in 1998.



Photo provided by Liz Fuentes (July 2003).








Clark County Detention Center

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5. Regional Justice Center
Architect(s): Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects
Address: 200 Lewis St.
Year: 2003

The Regional Justice Center contains 700,000 square feet of space to house four different court systems: Municipal, Justice, District, and Supreme. The eighteen-story concrete structure is surrounded by a five-story volume to help make the scale more context friendly. A light-filled, canyon-like space runs through this volume and terminates at the main entrance, which is elevated and features a civic plaza that reflects traditional courthouse design. Unfortunately, the RJC has been plagued by construction problems. This building won an AIA Nevada Design Award in 1999.


Photo provided by Liz Fuentes (July 2003).




6. Lewis Avenue Pedestrian Corridor
Architect(s): SWA Group
Address: Lewis Ave. between Las Vegas Blvd. and 4th St.
Year: 2002

As part of a beautification effort by the City of Las Vegas, a three-block stretch of land downtown has been transformed into a public plaza linking the Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse to the Regional Justice Center. The $2.36 million project, intended to be a place for contemplation, features a waterfall, reflection pond, decorative streetlights, benches, over 600 trees and shrubs, and a bridge inscribed with poetry. This project won an award from the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Institute.

 

Photo provided by Liz Fuentes (July 2003).



Lewis Avenue Pedestrian Corridor

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7. Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse
Architect(s): Cannon Dworsky and HCA
Address: 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Year: 2000

This striking building, with a $95 million price tag, has been a welcome addition to downtown Las Vegas. The seven-story, 437,000 square-foot facility is L-shaped with its public face and grand entry directed toward downtown. The elevated courtyard space is set back from the street and protected by a series of bollards, a post-Oklahoma City security feature. Exterior building materials (granite, concrete, limestone, white marble, terrazzo, wood, and glass) were intended to convey honesty and endurance. This building won an AIA Nevada Design Award in 2000.


Photo provided by Liz Fuentes (July 2003).




8. Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts
Architect(s): George A. Ferris and Lehman A. Ferris
Address: 315 S. 7th St.
Year: 1930

The Las Vegas Academy is the city's best example of Art Deco architecture and was the only high school until the 1950s. Located within the "Las Vegas High School Neighborhood Historic District" bound by 9th, Gass, 6th, and Bridger, the three-story concrete building is clad in stucco, and cast concrete friezes depict animals, vegetation, and medallions. The central pavilion with the main entrance is the most elaborate element. Although the exterior has been well preserved, the interior has been altered over the years. The school and its gymnasium were added to the Historic Register in 1986. Las Vegas architectural firm Wells Pugsley constructed a colorful addition to the Academy in 2000.


 

Photo provided by Liz Fuentes (July 2003).





Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts

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9. Huntridge Theatre
Architect(s): S. Charles Lee
Address: 1208 E. Charleston Blvd.
Year: 1943-4

The Huntridge Theatre was designed by one of the country's best-known theater architects of the time, Los Angeles-based S. Charles Lee. A Moderne-style building with its streamlined aesthetic, the one-story brick and concrete Huntridge has little exterior and interior ornamentation but does feature a 75-foot-tall fluted tower. This building is one of a handful that has received financial assistance from the state Historic Preservation Commission for renovations. The building was added to the Historic Register in 1993. The theater hosted numerous rock concerts and local events through July 30, 2004 and is currently closed.

 

 

Photo provided by Liz Fuentes (July 2003).

 

 






10. Fifth Street School (1936)
Architect(s): Orville L. Clark & George K. Thompson
Address: 400 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

This Mission/Spanish Revival style building served as a grammar school. The building then became the Clark County Courthouse Annex before being converted into a police substation and classroom space. This building was added to the Historic Register in 1988. A "Restoration and Re-use" project is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2008.

 

 

Images provided by Paulette Nelson (July 2004)
go to additional images taken February 2007


11. Victory Hotel (1910)
Architect(s): Moore and Rhoads
Address: 307 S. Main St .

This simplified Mission Revival style building is one of the last buildings from Las Vegas' railroad days. This two-story structure with its arcaded façade typified early 20th century Las Vegas architecture. The hotel was clearly visible to arriving train passengers. This building was placed on the National Register of Historic Place in 1987.




Images provided by Paulette Nelson (July 2004)



12. Jay Dayton Smith House (1931)
Architect(s): Warner and Nordstrom
Address: 624 S. 6th St .

A local interpretation of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, this building displays modest ornamentation. The building consists of asymmetrical forms that incorporates two front-gabled roofs with a round tower and shed-roofed porch, which covers the entry. Large arched windows are found on both gabled ends. The building was converted into offices in the 1980s and added to the Historic Register in 1987.



Images provided by Paulette Nelson (July 2004)

images of the Smith houseBack to map







13. Railroad Cottage Historic District (1909-1911)
Builder: San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake RR
Address: 601-629 S. Casino Center Blvd.

These buildings were designed in the Bungalow/Craftsman style and served as residences for railroad workers in the early 1900s. Of the original 64 built, just 12 cottages remain standing. These cottages were built to help develop the city and to serve as an employee benefit. The cottages came in two models, a three bedroom, 912 sf model, and a two bedroom, 768 sf model. Most of the remaining cottages have been converted into businesses. In 2002, one cottage was moved to the Clark County Museum where it's being restored for public viewing. This district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

As of spring 2007 only one railroad cottage remains at the original address (#629). During the summer of 2006 several of the buildings were moved to the Spring Preserves (and/or torn down) to make way for a new high rise.


For larger images and additional resources go to:
http://www.library.unlv.edu/arch/lasvegas/railroadcottage.html

Images provided by Paulette Nelson (July 2004)

images of the Railroad Cottage Historic District Back to map




Sources:
Anderton, Frances, and John Chase. Las Vegas:A Guide to Recent Architecture. London: Ellipsis London Limited, 1997.
Las Vegas American Institute of Architects Design Awards Archives
Nicoletta, Julie. Buildings of Nevada. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

© UNLV ASL
Tour pamphlets prepared May, 2003 by Liz Fuentes, UNLV School of Architecture Graduate Student
Revised 6/04 by Ernie Podaca, UNLV School of Architecture Graduate Student

 





Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:33 PST
Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse Lewis Avenue Pedestrian Corridor Regional Justice Center Clark County Detention Center Regional Transportation Commission/Regional Flood Control District Administrative Headquarters Clark County Government Center Huntridge Theatre University Medical Center ER/ICU/NSCU Addition