Neon Museum - North Gallery

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This page last updated on 12/01/2016
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Description & History: The Neon Museum is located at 770 Las Vegas Boulevard, next to Cashman Field Center (Fig. 04). The concept for the Neon Boneyard started in 1996. Now home to more than 200 signs, it celebrated its 20th birthday in 2016. The two-acre campus is home to the Neon Boneyard Park, the actual neon sign Boneyard and the Neon Boneyard North Gallery, which is used for weddings and film and production crews (Fig. 04). In addition, they have two additional off-site storage areas, and have recently purchased a property just south of their main building thanks in part to a $425,000 grant that will allow the museum to expand its footprint. They will purchase .27 acres and the building on it. The total sale price is $850,000; and another $200,000 will be spent demolishing the building and preppint the land for expansion of the "Neon Boneyard," where 20-30 additional retired signs will take residence. It is expected that the outdoor expansion to be completed by the end of February, 2017.
(Fig. 02) Click to enlarge

The first sign restored by the Neon Museum was the Hacienda Horse and Rider sign. To mark their "official opening," the museum installed the restored sign at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont street. One of the most world-famous signs in the museum, the Stardust sign, was 188 feet tall and 96 feet wide. Rich in star-power, the Stardust, which was a frequent stop for entertainers such as Frank Sinatra and "the Rat Pack," remained a Las Vegas mainstay from it's opening in 1958 to its demolition in 2007.

(Fig. 03) Click to enlarge
The museum's visitors' center is housed inside the former motel lobby of the La Concha Motel (Fig. 03). Recognized by its distinctive clam shell-shaped roof, the motel, which was originally constructed in 1961, formerly sat on Las Vegas Boulevard South next to the Riviera Hotel. In 2006, the lobby was spared from destruction and moved to it's current home in eight separate pieces. It was completely reassembled in May 2008. The Neon Museum sits on land that is leased to them by the city for $1 a year. After many failed attempts to "save our neon," the city stepped up and helped create the museum. Now, the museum is an independent operation with its own non-profit status. From photo shoots, educational programs, special events and private or regular tours, during the 2015 fiscal year, 85,163 visitors have strolled through the relics of Las Vegas history at the Neon Boneyard Museum.
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12/10/2016 Trip Notes: On December 10th, the Nevadans for Cultural Preservation (NVFCP) sponsored a photo take of the museum's North Gallery accompanied by talk about the history of the Neon Museum by Maggie Zakri, the museum's collections manager. Maggie noted much of the museum's history noted in the above paragraphs. She provided information about many of the signs in the collections; emplished by her personal job experiences. After a very informative talk, she entertained questions from the attendees for nearly 30 minutes. Though this was my third visit to Neon Museum, this was my first visit to the North Gallery. The unfortunate thing about this gallery is that they are "cramped" for space. There are signs on top of signs with many of the three rows deep. Hopfully everyone with be able to better view the signs here when they are able to move into their nearly purchased space next year. Looking forward to going back to see more. I put together the collage in (Fig. 05) below of some of the more visible signs. Some of my favorites in show in (Fig. 06-10).
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For pictures of signs found in the Outdoor Event Area, and more information about the museum, click here to view the page I created after my first visit ... The Neon Museum.