Monday, March 16, 2009

Stories from Las Vegas (part 1)...

Ladies and gentlemen, there are unbelievable deals in Las Vegas:

I have a story on NPR's Day to Day (audio available online here, later today) about the revival of interest in the city's long-forgotten mid-century modern homes. The frenzy of real estate speculation in Las Vegas, and the huge suburban expansion has left the city's neighborhoods without much of a sense of community. Neighborhoods are emptying out; many residents are alienated.

Well, there's a seed of hope in these mid-mod homes at the city's center. In the last several years, urban hipsters have re-discovered these little architectural gems, built in the 1950's and 60's. Younger people have moved in, and are bringing new energy to downtown neighborhoods that had become run down.

And in a city a disassociated communities, the irony is these homes and neighborhoods were designed with socializing in mind: large, airy open spaces; rooms that open into rooms; sunken lounges and walls of glass that open onto patio and poolside areas, so that the inside and outside become one giant space. Here's an upscale example of the Morelli House in Las Vegas, recently rescued from the bulldozer by the Junior League:

Most of the mid-mod homes downtown are more modest in scale, and affordable for mere mortals. They are, in short, the perfect antidote for a city where people don't know their neighbors.

1 comment: