About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view VickiArkoff's profile
    Posted November 4, 2013 by
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    An ode to neon lights

    More from VickiArkoff

    The Neon Museum & Boneyard: Las Vegas, Nevada


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Freelance travel and entertainment writer/editor Vicki Arkoff visited the Las Vegas Neon Museum on a work trip in October. Arkoff says she finally found a “cultural Vegas attraction with some substance.” As she walked through the neon graveyard, the sign and rotating tam from the now-demolished Tam O’Shanter Motel caught her eye. “I remember it – and the above ground pool, as well as a Louis Armstrong/Carol Channing showroom concert – from my first childhood visit,” she said. Read her review of the museum here.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: One of Vegas’ newest attractions is a fascinating collection of the city’s oldest relics: dismantled and discarded signs from vintage Las Vegas landmarks that were destroyed and replaced with more modern mega-resorts and casinos. Gone but not forgotten, what remains of their signage has been salvaged and restored, and, after decades in storage, are displayed for public viewing 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

    Most of The Neon Museum’s signs are exhibited in “The Boneyard” where they serve as inspiration to fascinated artists, students, historians and designers. It’s home to some of the most treasured and world-famous signs of Las Vegas: Caesars Palace, Binion's Horseshoe, the Golden Nugget, and the Stardust. The 1950’s revolving tam from the not-so-ritzy Tam O’Shanter Motel? It’s here too, among others like the Lucky Cuss Motel, the Bow & Arrow Motel, The Silver Slipper, the Normandie Motel, Dot’s Flowers, the Landmark and 5th Street liquors.

    The two-acre Museum campus includes the adjacent Neon Boneyard Park as well as the "The Boneyard" which houses more than 150 historic signs. Each sign in the collection has a unique story about who created it, what inspired it, where and when it was made, and how it fits into the development of Las Vegas and the city's rich history – so do yourself a favor and take a guided tour. Changes and trends in design and technology are also illustrated in the pieces that range from the 1930s to the present.

    The Neon Museum visitors’ center is located inside the historic La Concha Motel lobby, a distinctive shell-shaped building designed by acclaimed architect Paul Revere Williams. The curvilinear La Concha Motel lobby is a striking example of Mid-Century modern design characterized by Atomic- and Space Age shapes and motifs. Originally constructed in 1961 on Las Vegas Boulevard South (next to the Riviera Hotel), the La Concha lobby was saved from demolition in 2005 and moved in 2006 to its current location for its second career as the museum’s Visitors’ Center. References to many of the lobby’s original interior design elements have been included in the newly refurbished facility, with two of the motel’s original signs – the mosaic lobby sign and a section of the main roadside sign – restored and illuminated as part of the museum’s rehabilitation efforts.

    The Neon Museum and Boneyard: 770 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, NV 89101. www.neonmuseum.org

    Photos by Vicki Arkoff
    Add your Story Add your Story