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Neon Survey
Little Church of the West

Description of sign(s)

1. Name: Little Church of the West | website

2. Owner: Greg Smith

3. Address: 4617 Las Vegas Blvd. 739-7971

3b. Additional Site Details: The Little Church of the West now resides on the south end of the Strip, along the east side among the smaller roadside hotels. Surrounded with pleasant landscaping the property is a charming and welcome sight among the more barren area of the strip.

4. Condition: Structure 4 Surface 4 Lighting 5

Notes: See description

5. Form: plyon, fasica

6. Specfic Description: There are two specific signs which are significant to the property. The first being the double backed internally lit pylon roadside sign which sits on the east side of Las Vegas Blvd. and faces east/west. The 10 feet at its widest, and thirty seven feet tall. The structure consists of a center pole upon which an internally lit plastic sculpted message board sits. Painted in an old west script upon the plastic are the words "Little Church Of The West Wedding Chapel," with painted scrollwork on the top and the bottom of the plane. The entire message board is bordered in neon. Sitting on top of the message cabinet is a small, sculpted apse and bell. The original sign from its original construction still exists atop the actual structure of the Little Church of the West. It is an image of a cross outlined in white neon.

7. Type of Display: neon, backlit

8. Media: steel, plastic

9. Non-neon treatments: graphics, paint

10. Animation: none

Notes: n/a

11. Environment: The property sits among the dying roadside motel environment of the South end of Las Vegas Blvd. It stands as on of the properties that is still in good repair. The pleasant landscaping and grass provide a pleasant establishment among the southern strip. It seems to capture the environment it has always tried to attain, of the picturesque country church.

Artistic Context

1. Manufacturer: Larsen Sign

2. Designer: unkn

3. Date of Installation: It was originally part of William J. Moore's Last Frontier Village, which was assembled in the late 1950s. The current pylon sign was manufactured in 1996.

4. Date(s) of any major redesign/move: Originally, it resided in the Las Frontier until it was demolished in 1954. The Little Church of the West stood approximately in the spot where Sax Fifth Avenue is located. When the New Frontier was constructed, it was moved to the east side of the Strip approximately where the Silver Slipper was located. It stood in this location until 1978 when it was moved to the south edge of the Hacienda's property. The property was moved to its current location in 1996.

5. Thematic Influence: The thematic influence of the Little Church of the West draws from its original property which was the Old Western theme of the Frontier Hotel Casino.
The Last Frontier Village was assembled from actual Western towns and reassembled on the Last Frontier's Property. With its wooden façade, brown color tones, script and pylon structure, the Little Church of the West rings true with its origins, while still incorporating the subtle elements of Las Vegas such as neon.

6. Artistic Significance: The Little Church of the West is reminiscent of old west theme which extends back to the very beginnings of Las Vegas and which dominated the themes for a period of time. " Before it became filled with themed western architecture, Las Vegas was an actual western town with a Spanish Style train station and false front facades fronting plank sidewalks"-Alan Hess, After Hours Architecture. Such properties, which dominated the early years of Las Vegas, were the Pioneer Club, the El Rancho Vegas, the El Cortez, the Last Frontier, Binion's Horseshoe, and the Silver Slipper.

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Last modified Monday, 05-Apr-2010 18:48:08 UTC