Mid-Century Modern Architecture PDF Print

Exhibit Opening Reception at the Nevada State Museum April 24

Riviera Hotel lobby 1957

The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is hosting an opening reception for its newest exhibit, “Mid-Century Modern Las Vegas,” on Saturday, April 24 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The exhibit will feature photos of Mid-Century Modern architecture, as well as domestic and decorative art from the era.

Admission will be $4 for the general public and free to museum members.

Throughout the 1950s and ‘60s when Las Vegas was polishing its image as a premier resort destination, architects from throughout the country were drawn to the city by its free-wheeling, forward-looking modernism. These architects, such as Paul Revere Williams, Palmer and Krisel, Zick and Sharp, Wayne McAllister and Welton Beckett, designed some of Las Vegas’ most notable structures: St. Anne Catholic Church; the parabolic lobby of the La Concha Motel; the sleekly angular Sands Hotel; the futuristic terminal at McCarran International Airport; homes in Mason Manor; and the flying saucer-shaped Las Vegas Convention Center. Dozens of schools, banks, shopping centers, and medical and government buildings throughout Las Vegas were built in a variety of Mid-Century Modern styles.

La Concha Motel lobby 1961


Most of the photos featured in this exhibit are from the collection of noted photographer Jay Florian Mitchell. After a successful career in New York, Mitchell came to Las Vegas in the late 1940s and spent more than two decades documenting life in Las Vegas. With most of Las Vegas’ Mid-Century Modern architecture now lost to development, Mitchell’s collection provides an invaluable visual record of the city’s past.

The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is located at 700 Twin Lakes Drive in Lorenzi Park. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults and free to museum members and ages 17 and under.