Friday, June 29, 2007


from the UNLV sociology department is looking for people to be interviewed about the John S. Park Historic Neighborhood in particular, and the surrounding neighborhoods in general.

Are you an original owner? Grew up here? Visited your grandparents in Huntridge? Were neighbors of or one of the movers and shakers of Vegas in the 40's or 50's or 60's? Live here now and have a story to tell? Call Susan Becker, 274-3960

I spent 2 hours yesterday telling my story. I bought some apartments at 11th and Stewart in 1985 when I moved to LV. I lived there and ran them and battled the crack dealers and prostitutes for 8 years. My parents owned the sandwich shop "your place or mine" at 7th and Carson. I envisioned the area becoming an "arts and entertainment" district. I was way too far ahead of reality at the time. But now it's happening and of course the arts district I imagined is south of downtown.

And in the middle of the interview, my tired brain opened up, and out popped my VERY first memory of "mid-mod" that I'm still so passionate about. And, I realized, it's what shaped my passion for real estate and architecture in general.

The story? Well, I quit college one day in 1975 and became a truck driver. (I assure you, there's a back story to that decision). Thru a stroke of luck, in my very first weeks of moving computers and art and stuff for Allied Van Lines, I got dispatched to the Smithsonian in Washington to move some of the traveling BiCentennial exhibit.

The Smithsonian people liked our work, our manners and our who knows what else, but the next year (and subsequently, many times in the future), I was requested/demanded as the only driver they were going to trust with the moving of the, get this, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT "USONIAN" home from DC to it's new permanant home in Phoenix. It was really a coup for a 22 year old.

And that's the day I saw my first "modernist" home, and have been in love with them ever since.

To learn more about "usonian" there's always google, but I'm getting you started
with this link to a terrific website telling the story of how FLW and the Usonian got translated into the "Eichler" and their minion of architect followers and what we now call "mid-century modern". (Don't be late for work, it's really fascinating.)

No comments: