Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday, the last full day of vacation

On Monday, Bill, Heather, Judy and I went up to Mt. Charleston. Here are a few pictures.
 There was a fire right after we were there two years ago.
On our way up the mountain we saw the fire damage.
 The view from the scenic overlook.
 That's the tippy-top of Mt. Charleston. I don't know if you can get there via skis or rock climbing, but we didn't make it to the top.
 We made it to this point, the ski area. Which is closed for construction. 
And because there's not enough snow.

That night Bill, Heather, and I went to the Neon Museum. It's located on the far north end of downtown Las Vegas. They are restoring these signs, one at a time, and currently six of them are on the scenic by-way. Driving that route after 10pm is not recommended. We will have to try viewing those signs at another time, perhaps earlier in the evening. 

Here are my pictures from the Neon tour.
 The museum sign pays homage to notable Vegas signs. 
Trivia time: can you name the four signs that the four letters represent?
 The museum/gift shop is the lobby from the Hotel La Concha. The architect, Paul Williams, was the first prominent African American architect.
He also designed the cathedral in Las Vegas. We attended mass there a few years ago.
 It costs a lot of money to restore these signs. Any sign on the strip is grandfathered in (like there are any original ones left…) so they don't have to be updated to modern standards. If a sign is taken down, it must then be updated to modern electrical standards. Which means all the signs here have to be modernized (the wiring, not necessarily the lighted part) before they can be lit. 
There is also a lot of broken glass and signs that are heavily damaged. I just wanted to explain why many of the signs are being lit with uplighting instead of lighting up themselves (I'm sorry for that confusing sentence about lighting). 
 Did you know that all neon light is still hand-blown? I did not. Which means the yucca neon light in this picture was all hand-blown. I'm sorry I didn't get a close-up of all the curves. 
 Here's the bottom of the yucca neon sign.
 G.R. stands for Grand Rapids
 The lamp was part of Aladdin's and to the right is part of the Stardust sign. That sign was so huge, I could not get a good photo of the entire word, "Stardust". 
Here's the LaConcha sign which cost around $50,000 to restore. Hence the reason that not all the signs are restored. This also required a load of concrete underneath the sign to hold it up.

I'm thankful for historians for their dedication to saving things. These signs are amazing and I hope we can go back in the daytime to see the artwork. But the night tour was equally cool.

Answers to the trivia question about the museum sign: N = Golden Nugget, E = Caesars Palace, O = Binion's Horseshoe, and the E = Desert Inn.

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