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La Concha Motel Lobby at the Neon Museum
The La Concha Motel was originally constructed in 1961 on the Las Vegas “Strip,” just south of the existing Riviera Hotel and Casino. The motel property included the free-form concrete shell lobby, and a rectangular two-story motel building attached to the rear of the lobby. The motel building was demolished in 2004 to make way for a new high-rise development, as yet to be built. It was designed by internationally known African-American architect Paul R. Williams (1894-1980), one of the foremost architects of southern California.
The La Concha Lobby is an excellent example of the “Googie” architectural style that became popular in the late 1950’s when modernism moved from its sharp 90 degree angles into expressive, free form designs. Googie style has also been known as Populuxe, Doo-Wop, Coffee Shop Modern, Jet Age, Space Age and Chinese Modern. La Concha exhibits the Googie style with its exaggerated shell form and thin, concrete structure seemingly held up by large plates of glass. The tips of the sweeping arches soar outward and upward, anchored by narrow points at the bottoms.
The La Concha Motel lobby was moved in 2005 to the Neon Museum at 770 Las Vegas Boulevard North and is now used as the lobby for the museum. A historically compatible addition to the lobby housing staff offices and visitor assembly space was completed in 2012. Images are by permission of the Neon Museum.
The La Concha is listed on the city of Las Vegas Historic Property Register.
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