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Uncommon Las VegasThe Bridger Building in Las Vegas Nevada. is multi-phase project that focuses on documenting and analyzing Las Vegas’ modern and post-modern buildings and we need your help!

Our goal is to identify a large number of the underrated buildings which are often hiding in plain sight. We have an abundance of lesser-known modern and post-modern buildings that many people in our community love, even if they are not well-known here in the valley. That’s why we need YOU! Uncommon Las Vegas is your chance to explore the buildings closest to you and discover some of the overlooked resources that are hiding in your community.

Phase I: Instagram It (#UncommonVegas)

Phase I of this exciting project is all about urban exploration and photo documentation. We’re asking YOU to go out into the city and photograph the modern and post-modern buildings that catch your eye. Beginning in September and running through the end of October, we’ll be collecting photos, addresses, and short descriptions via Instagram, Facebook and email, documenting the various resources that you come to identify.

Join us either August 26 or 28 for an informational meeting on how to identify modern and post-modern resources and where to focus your efforts. All the information you need to participate will be provided at these meetings. There are no special skills or equipment needed, just a love for old buildings and a camera that takes digital photos (phones are great!) More information on how you can participate in this exciting photo survey process is available on our website.

We’ll be running an Instagram contest using the hashtag #UncommonVegas during a two-month period between September and October and announcing three winners before the end of the year. Prizes are in the works and categories included: the Maximum Effort Award, the Uncommon Champion Award, and the Adverse Encounter Award. While we will be accepting contributions via Facebook and email as well, the contest will be limited to Instagram submissions only. Official rules and instructions will be added to our website before September first.

*Update: We received  over 700 photos during the Instagram photo survey phase! You can view these Instagram photos here.

Phase II & III: Interpreting the results

The results will be a crowd-sourced photo survey of the entire Las Vegas Valley documenting many of the underrated and underappreciated modern and post-modern resources here in our city. Using this survey as a guide, we’ll work to identify a handful of these buildings that are currently vacant and in need of some TLC. In February of 2018, we’ll be hosting a vacant buildings workshop that uses these buildings as a case study for how to acquire and restore these undervalued resources. We’ll also be working with a local photographer to take professional photos of the buildings found during the survey phase, which will be exhibited and published during these later phases. It’s our goal to ultimately provide a published copy of the photo survey, creating an important guide for future preservation efforts in our community. More information on these later phases will be announced as details are confirmed.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we need your help in completing most important phase, photographing Las Vegas! Mark your calendars for late August and join us in learning more and kicking off this exciting project!

*Update: Download the results of our Vacant Vegas workshop here.
We also have 25 of the 100 buildings that are being professionally photographed on display in our exhibit hall now! You can find details on how to access this exhibit here.

We are currently in the process of finishing up the final photography and will be uploading these results to our website soon. Check back often to see our progress!

Uncommon Vegas is generously sponsored by:

Nevada Humanities          National Endowment for the Humanties

National Endowment for the Arts          Nevada Arts Council

This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Modernism and Recent Past Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


  1. Diane Bush on August 7, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Very cool! I have been working on and off for the past few years of my own architecture survey of Las Vegas, off and on, as the best light only occurs in November( my determination). The Nevada Arts Council awarded me a JACKPOT! grant to kick off the project. This year I discovered a few of the buildings and signs I photographed are gone! This makes the work even more important. My project was divided into “Googie”, “Paradise Palms”, and “The Survey” (every building downtown). Two pictures have been published in HELEN magazine, and the rest are waiting for their opportunity to be seen/published/exhibited. And every November I am shooting more. I look forward to participating in this project.

    • Michelle Larime on August 10, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Sounds like great work you are doing Diane! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on and get you involved with this project as well. We are working on looking for grants to exhibit the survey after it’s complete. If there is any interest in helping with a potential exhibit let us know!

  2. JOHN J DELIBOS on October 12, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I am glad we are attending to the preservation of our history. As a member of NPF, I look forward to supporting its work, as I am able, every opportunity I get. Please keep me in the loop as you continue to make the remarkable progress you have made in “Saving and Preserving Las Vegas”. I grew up here from 1959, when my parents moved here when I was eight years old and love our city.

  3. Carmen L. James on January 16, 2019 at 3:48 am

    I was very disappointed, me and a couple of others came to see the Gallery tonight and couldn’t get in. All gates were closed. We wanted to purchase a book because our Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 1213 building is in the book.
    How can we purchase One now?

    • Heidi Swank on January 17, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      My apologies. From time to time, we’ve had problems with the gate closing earlier than it should. We are working to make the Uncommon Vegas book available online. Look for it next week. Again, my apologies.

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