March 22, 2017

A Midcentury Time Capsule: Las Vegas’ Beverly Green Historic District

  • By: Lauren Walser
Beverly Green house

photo by: Nevada Preservation Foundation

Las Vegas in the 1950s and ‘60s—a time when casinos and hotels were popping up left and right. The Sahara Hotel and Casino in 1952. The Dunes Hotel and the Riviera in 1955. The Tropicana in 1957 and the Stardust a year later. The La Concha Motel in 1961. Caesars Palace in 1966.

It was also a time when the first atomic bomb test was conducted at the Nevada Test Site, in 1951.

And then, there was Beverly Green.

In the 1950s and ’60s, prominent local developers and architects began building homes northeast of the Strip for prominent people. Politicians and bankers made Beverly Green their home, as did casino owners like one-time Caesars Palace executive Dean Shendal, and Frank Schivo, who co-owned the Sahara. Entertainers, including singers Louis Prima and Keely Smith, and comedian and actor Hank Henry, settled in the neighborhood, too.

Decades later, not much has changed. The mostly custom ranch-style houses remain nearly textbook examples of Midcentury Modernism. Many still have the original windows, rooflines, siding, and decorative screen blocks, and they retain their modest square footage. Few visible alterations or additions can be seen.

Beverly Green - Rexford Apartments

photo by: Nevada Preservation Foundation

In September 2016, Beverly Green was officially named a historic district with the City of Las Vegas. Its borders are Oakey Avenue to the north, St. Louis Avenue to the south, Sixth Street to the east, and Rexford Drive to the west. And it encompasses more than 100 houses and a handful of multi-family dwellings.

“It’s such a well-preserved area of midcentury architecture,” says Michelle Larime, associate director of the nonprofit Nevada Preservation Foundation, founded in 2013. The organization was hired by the city to oversee the historic designation efforts, including outreach, advocacy, and completing the application process for the city’s approval.

Here’s a sampling of some of the houses in the new historic district.

Lauren Walser served as the Los Angeles-based field editor of Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about art, architecture, and public space, and hopes to one day restore her very own Arts and Crafts-style bungalow.

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