Thank you, Don and Betty Draper. Seriously.
Preservationists and longtime mid-century modern fans say your little show, Mad Men, helped sound a clarion for what remains of the mid-century architecture that once sprouted up generously along the Strip and created swank Downtown neighborhoods.
Local activists have ushered in tours, forums and lectures over the years. They've rescued architecture and neon. But, as with most things in America, it takes a successful cable television show to tune in and, possibly, educate the masses, all of which are invited to Las Vegas' big weekend of mid-mod events.
You probably can't make it, what with all that Madison Avenue demands, but just so you know, we have Mondo Lounge at the Palms, with parties, bands, performers, exhibits and vendors. We also have Mid Mod Marvels weekend, which includes a panel discussion hosted by Alan Hess ("Mid-Century Modern Architecture, Design and Las Vegas"), a mid-mod bus tour and a screening of William Krisel, Architect, featuring the man behind Paradise Palms.
Mary Margaret Stratton, who organized this weekend's Mondo Lounge, says this comes at a critical time. She worries that the ultralounge and nightclub scenes have bypassed traditional Vegas entertainment. She says too much of the young population hasn't been exposed to our valuable past and that we need to keep vintage Vegas alive.
The Architectural & Decorative Arts Society and Friends of Classic Las Vegas are the ones putting together Mid Mod Marvels weekend. That features, among other things, a Friday night cocktail party at the historic Morelli House, which was built in 1959 on the Desert Inn Golf Course and moved to a new location with the help of the Las Vegas Junior League.
Later that night, Mondo Lounge organizers will host Tiki Steve's Stag Mag Reading Room (with vintage Playboy magazines), a vintage fashion show party, art exhibits and a tribute to Vegas entertainment. Some folks will take the Mid Mod Marvel's bus tour to see what locals are doing with their stylish mid-century modern homes. As Lynn Zook of Classic Las Vegas says, this weekend is "a great way to discover the Mad Men in all of us."