Ghost Adventures Local Historic Register Listing
The Nevada Preservation Foundation was hired by the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures to have their recently acquired commercial property listed on the Las Vegas Register of Historic Places. The property is located at the northern boundary of the John S. Park historic district, and was once the home of respected citizen Cyril S. Wengert. Recognizing the importance of this building to the John S. Park neighborhood and the surrounding community, Ghost Adventures sought an individual listing on the Las Vegas Register.
While community support is not necessarily needed for an individual building listing, we provided Ghost Adventures with outreach and application assistance in getting this property registered. We held two neighborhood meetings with residents of John S. Park and the surrounding community to discuss the intentions and process of the individual listing. We also performed research into the home’s and occupant’s history and were able to effectively justify the building was deserving of an individual listing. In addition, we performed all responsibilities associated with completing and submitting the application and followed the application through the voting process in the Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Commission and City Council. Ultimately, the listing was approved and the Wengert Residence was added to the City of Las Vegas’ Register of Historic Places.
History of the Wengert Residence
The Wengert Residence was originally owned by Cyril S. and Lottie Wengert. Built in 1938, this Tudor Revival was the largest of its time in Las Vegas. The home, designed by the little known architect H. Clifford Nordstom, shares many of the characteristics of other Period Revivals in the John S. Park historic district. These features include a steeply pitched roof, half timbering, a high chimney, and pillared front porch. Tudor Revival homes were meant to replicate modest country houses often found in Europe.
Cyril Wengert was the son of German immigrants Frank and Ella Wengert. Born in Austin, Minnesota, he moved to Las Vegas in 1907 at the age of 18 with his mother and brothers and sisters. His father Frank had arrived in Las Vegas in 1905 to supervise the building of a refrigeration plant for Armour Car Lines Company.
Mr. Wengert began his career in the banking business working for John S. Park at the First State Bank and managing the books for the newly founded utility and telephone company. Cyril worked his way up at First State Bank. In 1929, he became one of the first incorporators of the power and telephone company. In 1937, when First State Bank merged with First National Bank, Cyril became the manager and a director with the newly expanded institution. He had married Lottie Ward, a Las Vegas schoolteacher, in 1921 and had started a family. With his promotion to a bank executive, Cyril and Lottie had the Wengert Residence built and took up residence. They remained in this home until they passed away some thirty years later Cyril remained at First National Bank for 35 years. He took a position with the Southern Nevada Power and Telephone Company as a vice president and general commercial manager. Mr. Wengert was not your average executive. In fact, when Nevada Power Company decided to bring the company under one roof, the building was named the Cyril S. Wengert Building. Located at 230 North Fourth Street in downtown Las Vegas (no longer in existence), the building was designed by locally renowned architects Zick and Sharp with collaboration by Welton Becket of Los Angeles.
Cyril remained with Nevada Power Company for five more years until his death from brain cancer in February of 1965. Clearly, Mr. Wengert was a key figure in the creation of what today we know as NV Energy. His importance to both the business and civic life of Las Vegas was echoed by the Las Vegas Sun upon his death, “Cyril Wengert is considered one of the leading citizens of Las Vegas.”