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Neon Survey
New York New York

Description of sign(s)

1. Name: New York New York Hotel Casino

2. Owner: MGM Mirage

3. Address: 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South

3b. Additional Site Details: Occupying the northwest corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Tropicana Ave. is the New York New York Hotel and Casino. The property is a miniature representation of New York City in a collection of colorful architecture and sculpture. Colored reflective panels create the facades of high rises and skyscrapers. An almost cartoon like element is brought to the structures, flowing seamlessly sometimes throughout a surreal landscape of classical architectural elements and mock high rises. Distinguishable landmarks, such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge, can be recognized with ease. A lagoon of water represents a harbor shooting water out of fountains disguised as boats.

4. Condition: Structure 5 Surface 5 Lighting 5

Notes: See description

5. Form: plyon, fasica, porte cochere

6. Specfic Description: The porte cochere is located on the south side of the property facing Tropicana Ave. The design cantilevers off of the main structure to the north, and then is supported by two columns on its far end. The three exposed sides hold the radiating crown of the New York New York logo sign. The two on the east and west sides are smaller than the one on the south side, but are essentially the same design. A half circle cabinet holds the text New York New York stacked in two lines. The channel letters are polished metal on the outside with incandescent bulbs on the interior. Their faces are bordered with red neon. The text is positioned on the front of the half circle cabinet. Breaking the surface of the radius edge, elongated triangular pan channels create a repeating pattern. The result is a crown of points running all across the top of the cabinet. It is reminiscent of the crown on the statue of liberty, or the rays of the rising sun. The face of the cabinet is painted blue, with metallic raceways, filling the negative spaces with more triangular shapes. The triangular pans are painted yellow on the interior with a blue finish on the exterior. The exterior width of the cabinet is also finished in a golden reflective surface. Three tubes of neon fashioned into succeedingly smaller triangles are inside each surface. The color scheme of the neon is yellow being the outer, orange being the second, and the center being red. The sign on the south side is designed the same, except being quite a bit larger, and the crowns of the cabinet angle forward instead of straight up in the air. All the edges are bordered with incandescent bulbs. The bottom edge below the signage, actually underlining the signage significantly, is a gold polished double bull nose that wraps the entire length of each side. The surface is strewn with small incandescent bulbs. An entablature runs above the bull nose, filling the spaces between the sign. The pediment is bordered on the top and the bottom with gold polished raceways and incandescent bulbs. Two mirrored posts support the southern end. The ceiling of the porte cochere is treated much the same as the logo signage on the three sides of the roof. Long pan channels are placed on the ceilings and shaped to look like waving banners, confetti, and beams, radiate out of a centerpiece positioned over the entrance to the casino. Red pans are painted orange on the interiors and green channels are painted blue on the interior. Tubes of neon are bent to the contours of the shapes of each one of these channels. The entire composition is a brilliant abstract pattern of light and colored steel shooting out toward Tropicana Ave. Headed east toward the northwest corner a bridge connects the Excalibur property to the New York New York. At the end of a bridge an entrance into the NY NY is below a LED message center and an arched logo cabinet, with the text and the radiating triangular channels. It is actually the same neon and color scheme, just fit to sit over the LCD display. The sign faces south. The sign has the distinct backdrop of a domed rotunda lined with columns. Rounding the corner another elevated bridge stretches east over the strip to the MGM property. The same configuration of the arched signage, along with the illuminated text, and LCD display screen is on the east side of the building. The corner facade of the harbor is flanked by these two collections of signs and walkways. Around the corner, the property extends north up Las Vegas Blvd. continuing the façade of fake apartment buildings, with storefront windows at ground level. Here the replica of the Brooklyn Bridge serves as the main concourse of pedestrian activity.
There are two sections of sign that are of particular interest to the eastern face of the building. The first is an advertisement for Panasonic. Panasonic is spelled in silver channel letters with blue fronts. The blocky font is internally lit. The entire text sits along the top edge of a matching message center. Further north on the face of the building, a section of building, finished in brick, combine graphics and three-dimensional elements for a sign for Pepsi. Toward the top of the face a logo/wall sign is crafted out of channel letters and filled with incandescent bulbs and bordered with blue neon. The entire text reads "Pepsi: Cola" The capital "P" and "C" are crafted out of one cursive style channel. The remaining letters are spelled in separate channel letters. The channel letters are stylized in a fashion reminiscent of the turn if the century. The colon placed between the "I" in Pepsi and the "C" in cola is also made out of channel boxes. Below the logo, a mural is painted on the majority of the remaining open space on the surface. Two police officers, in the style of early cartoons from the first few decades of the twentieth century, are the focus of the mural and are reminiscent of the famed "keystone" cops. The two figures are shown from about waist up in a circle, which is broken at the top by the white painted thought bubbles, bordered in black. The thought bubble on the left reads "bigger bottle" and the opposite reads, "better flavor". The two police officers correspond the appropriate thought bubble, with the one on the left being the larger figure, and the one on the right being smaller and apparently older. They are treated with blue paint, with their stripes, buttons and badges, treated in yellow paint. The skin tones are treated with proper hues, with facial features distinguished by black contour lines. The three-dimensional aspects come into play when describing their action. The officer on the left is pouring a bottle of the cola into the glass, which the other officer is holding. The one hand each officer is showing is a three-dimensional, fiberglass, white, cartoon, gloves. The one on the left is integrated into the tilted bottle. The bottle is coming off of the wall in a sculpted two-dimensional cabinet. The bottle is treated with the red white and blue Pepsi label, and reminiscent of the logo channel text. The tilted bottle points down toward a glass that the other officer holds. The glass is also a sculpted cabinet treated with paint on the surface, as well as the bottle, to appear as glass, utilizing highlights. Neon for the mural is cleverly designed to accent the mural and compliment the design. The text in the thought bubbles is overlaid with yellow neon, which animates back and forth to suggest an interaction of talking to each other. One half will illuminate, then the other as the first darkens. The yellow painted buttons, stripes, and badges of the characters uniforms are all outlined with yellow neon. The action of the neon in the bottle and glass can be seen through the semitransparent materials. Horizontal tubes of red neon fill the bottle, as well as the glass. In the space between the bottle and the glass waving tubes of neon pass through the apparent opening at the top of the cabinet, and can be seen behind the translucent face. When in action, the bottle appears as if it is pouring the liquid into the cup. (see animation notes) Among the ground level shops along the east side, marquis signage denotes passage. One on the southern end of the elevation just before the Brooklyn Bridge begins, and another, a bit further north, before the ESPN Zone signage. Two message panels come off the wall at an angle flattening off with a smaller panel boasting logo channel letters. Each one of the wings are spanned across the top of the face with channel letters spelling "entrance," painted in an off white on the interior. They are filled with incandescent bulbs and bordered with red neon. The remaining space on the bottom of the face is an LED message center. A narrow horizontal plane rises off of the top edge and is lined with three tubes of neon. The cabinet is made of a polished gold metal. The entire outline of the wing is lined with a raceway lined with incandescent bulbs. Smaller eastern face of the overhang is a square cabinet with an arched top. To either side of the cabinet is crafted into a set of two narrow horizontal planes. The one closest to the cabinet is taller that the one right next to it, with rounded corners echoing the curve of the main cabinet. The resultant effect is a sculpted cabinet with a top edge descending on either side in a water falling radius. These bookend elements are bordered with yellow, and three vertical tubes of neon running the length of the interior. They main cabinet is occupied by the internally lit double set initials "NY," stacked one set on top of the other. They too are filled with incandescent bulbs and bordered with red neon. The face of the middle cabinet is bordered with incandescent bulbs and finished in a slick blue hue. The underside of the overhang is covered in the polished gold surface and laden with incandescent bulbs.
The northern end of the property is dominated by the signage for the ESPN Zone sports lounge, located inside the NY NY. The exterior signage is basically a theatre marquee entrance with a long overhang supporting an electronic message banner that reads from left to right. The majority of the theatre front is polished aluminum wit h thin tubes of red neon above and below the electronic reader board. Above the top edge of the actual front of the sign is a design of pan channels, crafted and shaped to form a complex background for the logo text spelling "ESPN." A wavy green crafted channel creates what looks like a horizon. The space between the marquee and the green channel is a black field laden with incandescent bulbs. Above the green channel an array of pan channels crafted into interlocking, swaying, pointed shapes. They are painted yellow and orange so the result is a bed of flames. These too are lined in the interior of the contour in red and orange neon. In the center of the entire face of the overhand in a black steel cabinet with the logo for the establishment spelling "ESPN Zone." The First portion of the two-word phrase is spelled in shallow channel letters lined with horizontal bars of white neon. The text is outlined in red neon as well. The second half spells "Zone," and is written in the same font with the "Z" being the largest letter in the sign, designed with the bottom horizontal leg underlining the rest of the letters in the word. The word is oulined with white neon as well. The latter portion is filled with horizontal bars of red neon. Situated along the middle of the sign, and against the vertical plane of the building, a blade sign repeats the design and colors of the bottom portion of the sign. The vertical cabinet is double sided spelling the "ESPN Zone" logo vertically with the same neon treatments for the respective words. The three toned background of black, green, red and orange on the bottom of the sign is interpreted on the blade. Running vertically, the black portion laden with bulbs runs against the wall, with the wavy channel next to that, disappearing temporarily behind the letters. The flames hang off of the outer edge of the sign. All of the neon treatments are seen here as well. Crowning the top of the blade sign two circular cabinets are arranged touching each other at one end, the faces pointing out to angled directions. Here the ESPN logo is arranged inside a circle. The bottom half below the letters is filled with horizontal bars of green neon, while the flames are present on the top half. The same cabinets can be seen mounted on the ends of the bottom overhang.

7. Type of Display: neon, incandescent, backlit, ambient

8. Media: steel, plastic, fiberglass

9. Non-neon treatments: graphics, paint

10. Animation: chasing, flashing, oscillation

Notes: The logo cabinets which adorn the entrances on the elevated walkways: The letters start with both rows of text in the off position. The top row flashes on, while the bottom row is dark then the bottom row illuminates, as the top row goes dark. Once the top row flashes off it flashes back on so that both rows of text are briefly illuminated simultaneously before they both go dark and the sequence stars over again. While this is going on the incandescent bulbs which line all of the raceways are chasing each other from left to right on the horizontal planes, while the arched sections chase each other downward. The triangular peaks which radiate around the top of the logo sign, flash on and off in a sequence which chase each other downward. First the top center peak flashes on, then the next sequential triangular channel on both sides illuminate simultaneously, flash off, then the next two in the series illuminate. The resultant effect is a chasing pattern starting from the top. The sister animation is located on almost the exact same design on the porte cochere. I would think the previous smaller sign would be based on the larger porte cochere. The other variance besides obvious size difference is the that the channel letters are filled with incandescent bulbs instead of neon. The animation is a bit simpler as well. The incandescent bulbs oscillate continuously while the triangular pan channels which create the radiating crown, animate. The neon in the channels chase each other as described in the smaller walk way version, while the text continues until the entire text flashes off, then on, off, then begin to animate once again. All of the bulbs, which line the raceways of the exterior edge of the porte cochere, as well as the encrustation of bulbs on the brass bull nose portion, animate in rapid succession. All the raceway bulbs chase each other while the bulbs on the brass portion continually oscillate.
Animation continues on the east face of the building with the entrances first. The principle for these two signs is oscillation and chasing. All bulbs on the underside of the entrance, as well as in the logo, oscillate rapidly. All bulbs on the raceways chase each other. Further on the surface of the building as well, the Pepsi cola wall sign is found displaying a very unique form of animation, seen here on the strip. The signage for the Pepsi ad is located on the eastern wall. (Detailed in specific description) The Incandescent bulbs which fill the inside of the text that spells Pepsi, chase each other from left to right, leaving all the bulbs in its path illuminated, as if writing out the word Pepsi. The neon bars located within the tilted bottle of Pepsi are illuminated, and chase each other downward, leaving the bars it its path dark. As this sequence in taking place, the waving tubes of neon illuminate, flashed subtly making the neon appear as soda pouring out of the bottle. As the tubing flows then the vertical neon bars in the cup illuminate one at a time making the cup appear as if it is filling up. The text above each of the painted fires head, flashes back and forth as if talking to each other as well.
ESPN ZONE animation: The letters in the vertical blade portion of the ESPN Zone illuminate one at a time, starting from the top. Once the entire phrase is lit, in flashes off then on then off, before restating. The orange and red neon tubing which resides inside the pan channels that represent flames flash on and off in a relaxed manner as if to animate the flickering of the flames. The small incandescent bulbs on the black portions above the main matrix reader board flash on and off subtly.

11. Environment: Centering around the theme of the city of New York, it utilizes the corner to create a wrapping montage of sales kiosks, paralleled by a miniature replica of the Brooklyn bridge transforming into a corner bay flanked by the overhead walkways, and bringing the viewer in to the brightly lit arms of the porte cochere. The environment of the overhead wall signs and entrance signs blend in and compliment the theme aspect of being in a city. Of course they stand out a bit more with the over the top Vegas garishness, but they also add to the pedestrian interactive feature that creates the environment in which it sets out to accomplish. The corner fountain provides a unique experience with the views of the neighboring casinos but creates a bit more of a surreal nature with the small scale Statue of Liberty and backing of stylized skyscrapers and metropolitan architecture. To follow further around the corner headed south; the blazing neon adorned porte-cochere is backed by yet more architecture and the sweeping tracks of the resorts roller coaster.



























Artistic Context

1. Manufacturer: unkn

2. Designer: Marnell Corrao Architect: Neal Gaskin

3. Date of Installation: 1997

4. Date(s) of any major redesign/move: n/a

5. Thematic Influence: The New York City theme is the consuming factor in the aspects of the outmost design interior and exterior, as well as influencing the design of the signage itself. From the corner design being used to create a miniature water spectacular representing a harbor, to the faux apartment and store-fronts, and replica Brooklyn Bridge, to the peaks of the logo cabinet work. It joins the array of properties on the strip which are heavily themed, and designed to attract a family oriented crowd. It is also themed after a city.

6. Artistic Significance: This resort has regularly been recognized as one of the architectural wonders of the Strip, and the signage contributes to its fame.

Next: Official Tourist Bureau/Viva Vegas Gifts


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Last modified Monday, 05-Apr-2010 18:50:06 UTC