Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture



Major Professor

George Dodds

Committee Members

Steve Dandaneau, Scott Wall


This thesis concerns itself with the recovery of the history of Las Vegas, the effects of historic knowledge upon the cities present identity, and how focus on its past can effect individuals in its community and visitors from afar at present. Further it concerns itself with the quality of living, or lack thereof, in the surrounding neighborhoods of the thesis’ design site, The Old Mormon Fort, and seeks to make a healthy contribution to its community. The Old Mormon fort is the earliest site of modern day human settlement in Las Vegas, and in many ways has been the foundation for its modern development. It is therefore through the use of its historic Geographic location and Geological condition that attention is brought to the importance of its locality and place in history, but through a re-appropriated use of this historic relic to give it back to the community that surrounds it, and with that validate the importance of its community to the future development of Las Vegas. The underlying motivation in this project has been to test how architecture can affect a community and society as a whole, and where its limitations are. The design solution is heavily site driven. A program and/or architectural typology were not chosen before the site was thoroughly physically inspected, historically and archeologically investigated. Several historic and archeological documents, all listed in the bibliography, were consulted for the better understanding of the site. Numerous books, museum displays, film documentaries, guided tours were consulted, and interviews with individuals knowledgeable of Las Vegas’ and/or its history were conducted. Over a half docent visits to Las Vegas over the past decade allowed the author a physical connection with the city, and gave ample opportunity to communicate with party seeking visitors, but more importantly also with its local community, including the homeless and many individuals in recovery from various addictions. All these personal impressions, analysis, and information collections were all combined in a very personal document and experience of a wonderfully mystical, uniquely beautiful, but also very troubling place on the map of the United States of America.

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