Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman recognized five exceptional projects as Mayor’s Urban Design Awards (MUDA) winners at the annual State of the City Address. Each project fosters the city’s commitment to sustainability and livability in one of four categories.
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts won in the Building and Environment category. Located in the heart of downtown, the art deco style limestone building boasts a 16-story bell tower with a four-octave Carillon, comprised of 47 handcrafted bronze bells, and is topped with a stainless steel silver crown. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified Smith Center campus provides performing art and educational programming space to celebrate artistic excellence, education and culture from around the world.
The Smith Center is also home to the Public Art winner, Pipe Dream, by artist Tim Bavington. Painted vertical steel poles represent sheet music from Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” The colors, derived from a sign painter’s palette, pay homage to the history of signage in Las Vegas. The artwork animates the public space near the Smith Center.
Located on Main Street and Clark Avenue, the Las Vegas City Hall is the winner in the Public Places category. The city’s new seven-story government center is a catalyst for downtown redevelopment and is built to LEED standards. This community facility enabled concentration of government services within immediate adjacency to the new Downtown Transit Center and future residential development.
The Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse category has two winners, The Mob Museum (The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement), and the Neon Museum Visitors Center. The Mob Museum is housed in the historic former 1933 U.S. Post Office and Federal Courthouse located at Third Street and Stewart Avenue. The building was rehabilitated into a contemporary interpretive museum and world-class cultural destination while preserving its historic character.
The Neon Museum, located on the Las Vegas Boulevard Scenic Byway at McWilliams Avenue, is a unique open air museum for the neon art form.
The 1961 La Concha Motel Lobby, significant for its distinctive Mid-Century Modern design, rare poured-concrete engineering and its designer, renowned African-American architect Paul Revere Williams, was moved from the south Strip to its current location to serve as the museum visitors center. Just as the neon sign is an Expressionist form, the historic La Concha lobby carries an Expressionist root in architectural expression, while preserving the historic building.
To qualify for the Mayor’s Urban Design Awards, projects must be located within city limits and achieve significant impact through cultivating walkways and streets that are shared public spaces, promoting safety, conserving resources, preserving historic buildings and places, seamlessly linking to their surroundings and being pedestrian friendly.
Nominations for the awards were accepted by the city last year. A four-member committee reviewed and ranked the submissions for recommendation to Mayor Goodman, who selected the award winners.
The city of Las Vegas is committed to sustainability and livability in our community. Visit the city’s website at www.lasvegasnevada.gov/sustaininglasvegas
to learn about what is being accomplished.