BEYOND THE MINT: THE MID-CENTURY MODERN ARCHITECTURE OF WALTER ZICK
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, and Welton Beckett, designed some of Las Vegas' most characteristic structures: the Guardian Angel Cathedral, the parabolic lobby of the La Concha Motel, the futuristic dome terminal at McCarran International Airport, homes in the Paradise Palms subdivision, and the flying saucer-shaped Las Vegas Convention Center.
But it was architect Walter Zick and his partner Harris Sharp whose designs left the most lasting impression on Las Vegas' Mid-Century Modern architecture. Zick and Sharp partnered in 1949 and worked together in Las Vegas until Sharp retired in 1980. The two of them designed dozens of public schools and commercial buildings, as well as homes and professional structures.
Among the most notable of their designs were the Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino —the first integrated venue in Las Vegas.
There was the Mint Hotel and Casino , the Union Plaza , and the Sam Boyd Silver Bowl stadium .
In addition, Zick and Sharp designed the the Foley Federal Building  and the Clark County Court House .
The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, will host a reception and panel discussion at the museum on Saturday, October 3, 2009, at 11:30 a.m. The panel discussion will be followed by a bus tour of Zick and Sharp-designed buildings throughout Las Vegas. The tour ends with a private tour of the Morelli House, led by the Junior League of Las Vegas. While not designed by Zick and Sharp, the Morelli House is one of Las Vegas' most outstanding examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture. The bus will return to the Nevada State Museum at Lorenzi Park by 6:30 p.m.
Cost of the panel discussion is $3 [free for museum members], while the bus tour is $5. The bus tour is limited to 72 people, so please RSVP at 486-5205, x121. Sponsors of the Zick and Sharp event include the Junior League of Las Vegas; the Nevada Humanities Committee; Friends of Classic Las Vegas; www.veryvintagevegas.com; Brian “Paco” Alvarez, curator of the Las Vegas News Bureau film and photo archive; and the Atomic Age Alliance.
The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is located at 700 Twin Lakes Drive in Lorenzi Park. The museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. General admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors 55 and over, and free to children 17 and under. The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is one of seven museums managed by the Division of Museums and History, an agency of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department serves Nevada's citizens and visitors through cultural and information management, presentation and promotion of cultural resources, and education. The Department also includes the State Historic Preservation Office, Nevada State Library and Archives, and the Nevada Arts Council. For more information, call Teresa Moiola at (775) 687-8323 or visit the department's web site at www.NevadaCulture.org.