The Neon Museum, Las Vegas

SassySally500I’m not sure if The Neon Museum is the right name for this place. Maybe it should be The History of Las Vegas Through Illuminated Signs Museum, but that’s a little wordy. The property is home to a collection of more than 150 signs from hotels, casinos, restaurants, clubs, and other businesses.

Sahara500

Some of the properties no longer exist and some just have new signs now. Visitors are given guided tours through the collection, and stories are shared about each property that has donated pieces.

Horseshoe500

The signs, and parts and pieces of signs, are sitting on the ground in what’s called the boneyard.

Stardust500

As you walk through the yard with the signs at eye level, you can see the detail of construction and the way the lights were arranged.

Sassy_close500

There’s usually a mix of incandescent lighting and neon. A few of the signs have been restored to shine as brightly as ever.

LaConcha500

The office for the museum is made from the restored and relocated shell of La Concha Motel which was designed by architect Paul Williams.

LaConchaSign500

The sign from La Concha is one of the few restored and illuminated ones in the boneyard.

Motel500

Some of the older signs were built with protruding metal rods which were standard pipe cut to the same length. Those rods were used by workers who climbed them when lights needed to be replaced.

Tropicana500

The tubes used for neon lights are powder coated on the inner surface in different colors to produce different hues of illumination.

Yucca500

The yellow tubes on the Agave sign actually displayed a green light.

Duck500

The neon duck, donated from a car wash, was one of the most complex neon designs. Metal edges were used around neon tubes that were intended to delineate lines. Other areas were not edged where the light from the neon was allowed to flood the shape. In addition to the details of the edging, this sign is also two-sided making it an expensive piece.

Just outside of The Neon Museum, Las Vegas Boulevard is part of the Scenic Byways project where more restored signs can be seen along the street. This is the only example of a scenic byway that’s not a piece of natural scenery. It was nice to take some time to wander through a bit of the past in a city that’s usually focused on the newest thing to be built.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s