The mid-mod houses in Las Vegas not solely look cool, they had been constructed for the desert too

Few people know, but if you look closely, you can find glittering treasures in the garbage heap of Las Vegas architecture.

I’m talking about the mid-century modern gems found in neighborhoods in and around downtown that I recently saw on a tour sponsored by the Architectural & Decorative Arts Society.

As more and more people want to enjoy the fruits of downtown rejuvenation, we will inevitably see a housing shortage. “Not everyone wants to live in a high-rise,” said our tour guide Jack LeVine, whose real estate business specializes in downtown and mid-mod.

The restoration of some of these classic homes and neighborhoods should be a priority. Paradise Palms, Francisco Park, Marycrest, McNeil and the Scotch 80s offer singles and new families plenty of affordable housing options.

The great thing about these homes is that beyond the enduring appeal of their design – note the popularity of Mad Men – they are well suited for the desert. The Buddy Hackett house on Spencer Street, which is in the market, is a good example.

The kitchen area of ​​one of the mid-mod houses seen during the tour.

Unlike many homes in the valley that can act like easy bake ovens with powerful air conditioning, the mid-century modern homes use appropriate building materials, an intuitive understanding of heat and light, and a merging of indoor and outdoor spaces to create a smarter one Desert to create habitat.

Another home seen during the Architectural & Decorative Arts Society’s tour of medium-sized homes.

We started in Paradise Palms with Mario Lopez (not Mario Lopez), who bought his 1963 house a year ago for – wait for it – $ 97,000. Due to his impressive collection of mid-mod furniture, he created an interesting living space with his salary as a waiter in the CityCenter.

William Krisel, who designed many of our best mid-century modern works, including the Lopez House, said in an interview with Dwell magazine, “Budgets and costs are not criteria for good design. Design is design and has nothing to do with dollars and cents. “

The architecture of the era, of which we saw countless great examples on the tour, features natural light, a flat or pleated panel roof, decorative concrete and stone work on the back of the house. bright colors, open living spaces and more modest bedrooms.

A scene from one of the back yard areas of the house.

“People are amazed that these neighborhoods exist in Las Vegas,” says LeVine.

Part of the reason we are amazed is that while there are hundreds of these houses all over the valley, many are “hideous,” as LeVine says. They are still here, but they have been inundated with additions and awful siding and paintwork and “renovations” that corrupted their original elegance.

We can and we should restore them to their original beauty.

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