This has been a wonderful year for the Nevada Preservation Foundation! Although it was only our second year, we were able to accomplish so much! From working with our community clients and providing educational programs to curating Hugh E. Taylor’s archives, we have been busy!
We have to be honest, too, at the end of this article are four ways that you can include the Nevada Preservation Foundation in your year-end giving. As a burgeoning nonprofit, we rely on donations and grants in order to be able to serve our community. Please include us in your giving.
This year, we continued working with the Paradise Palms, Beverly Green, and Paradise Village communities to move them closer to becoming historic neighborhoods. We worked with them by organizing canvasses, developing and sending mailers and letters to homeowners, holding meetings in the neighborhoods, and keeping supporters up to date on the progress. Paradise Palms and Beverly Green are now very close to having enough support to go forward with their applications. Congratulations to them! They have worked hard!
We also took on a new client project this year. The former Nevada State Bar building on the corner of Charleston and Sixth Streets will soon be owned by the television show Ghost Adventures. The television show approached the Nevada Preservation Foundation because they see historic designation as an important component in their business model. We have been working with them over the last few months to develop their application for the City of Las Vegas Register of Historic Places. In just a few days, we will present this application to the Historic Preservation Commission.
Over this year, we have received phone calls from several business owners and neighborhoods interested in historic designation. We are excited to see such an increase in an understanding of our architectural heritage. I’m sure that one year from now, we will have even more client stories to share!
This year the Program Committee – led by NPF board member Jack LeVine – headed into our second year with a clear plan for our events. The committee divided into four subcommittees, one for each of our quarterly events. This allows each committee to recruit volunteers who need shorter time commitments. Our February energy efficiency program is headed by Michelle Larime, the May Home Tour by Jack LeVine and Mitch Cohen, the July film and discussion by John Delibos, and the October gala committee by Heidi Swank. So far, we have been quite happy with this reorganization.
It was a big year for the Program Committee for sure! We had almost 400 attendees across the four events. In particular, our first Historic Home Tour was a huge success! Tickets for the VIP Martini Tour sold out two weeks in advance and we had a total of 184 people – from four states! – attend the event. Alan Hess came from Los Angeles to talk about Las Vegas architecture at the Morelli House, which overflowed with people. We are already looking for a bigger kick off venue for next year’s Home Tour. Clearly, this event is a great way to educate a broad audience on our historic homes and architecture!
NPF also collaborated with the World Monuments Fund and the Springs Preserve to bring in a national exhibit on modern architecture. “Modernism at Risk” opened at the Springs Preserve on July 2 with around 50 people attending the opening. The Springs Preserve provided some fabulous nosh and even our own Hugh E. Taylor along with his wife Priscilla were in attendance.
As part of the exhibit that lasted into September, NPF also held two programs. There was the film showing of “Air, Light, and Utopia: The Modern Movement in Architecture” and a panel discussion entitled “Gaga for Googie: Futurist Architecture Then, Now, and Beyond.” Almost 100 people attended these educational events. It was a lot of fun!
Our monthly newsletter, the Preservation Press, was also busy bringing some engaging and educational articles to our readers. This year there were several pieces on neighborhoods and individual homes, including Jeremy Storms’ “A Cinderella Story: the Bel Air” and two of Michelle Larime’s pieces “Paradise Village by Zick and Sharp” and “The Harrison House goes Green.” While our articles on NPF events continue to be the most popular, we did see an increase in readership of all of our articles in 2015.
Curating the Taylor Archives
Over the course of 2015, we have been working to make the Hugh E. Taylor archives available online to the public. As part of these efforts, in January our executive director, Heidi Swank, conducted an oral history with Mr. Taylor. Funded in part by a grant from the Nevada Humanities, Hugh, Priscilla, and Heidi recorded about six hours of interviews, tracing Hugh’s life from Utah as a descendant of John Taylor – 3rd President of the Mormon Church – and later living in a home for boys in Los Angeles to becoming a WWII pilot and renowned architect in Las Vegas. It is an amazing story and one that we should have available online by the end of 2016.
In early October, we suddenly lost Hugh. His passing has left a bit of a hole in our offices, as he was such a wonderful resource and friend as we worked on documenting his archive. At the age of 91, his memory was quite good. He didn’t remember everything, but he what he did remember he knew well. We were happy to hear that Hugh will be named to the UNLV Hall of Fame this March, bringing a bit of the recognition he very much deserved.
As you can see it HAS been a whirlwind of a year here at the Nevada Preservation Foundation. We are satisfied with what we have accomplished, but we are looking to do more. In November, our executive director moved from a volunteer position to a full-time paid position. However, at only a $1,000 monthly salary, we would like to see that increase. In addition, we are hoping to hire a part-time assistant director so that we can expand our community services even further.
In order to keep NPF growing so that we can better benefit our state and our communities, we need your support. There is much work to be done in Nevada to encourage the preservation of our architectural past. We need your partnership in this endeavor. Please do consider giving in any of the following ways.
Drop a Check in the Mail:
Nevada Preservation Foundation
620 S. 11th Street, Suite 110
Las Vegas, NV 89101