Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman recognized four exceptional projects as Mayor’s Urban Design Awards (MUDA) winners at the Jan. 22 meeting of the Las Vegas City Council. Each project fosters the city’s commitment to livability, historic preservation and sustainability in one of four categories.
JMA Architecture Studios won the Building and Environment category for the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada building. Located near downtown, the contemporary building, wide sidewalks and shade trees set the standard for new development on Charleston Boulevard while also meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The center is a non-profit, public interest law firm that provides free legal advice, advocacy and representation to low-income residents of Clark County.
JW Zunino Landscape Architecture won the Public Places category for improvements to Lorenzi Park. The improvements, including a redesign of the twin lakes, themed children’s play area, recreation of the historic band shell, new restroom buildings and interpretive markers, were inspired by historical images of the park and designed to be compatible with the existing historic buildings. The park, located on Washington Avenue and Twin Lakes Drive, is listed on the city and state registers for historic places.
The Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse category was won by Jack and Lance Johns for the rehabilitation of Atomic Liquors on Ninth and Fremont streets. Opening in 1945 as a café and becoming Atomic Liquors in 1952, it is the oldest free-standing bar in Las Vegas. Working without a design team, the Johns brothers painstakingly preserved the most significant historic elements of the iconic bar that once served patrons as they watched the atomic bomb detonations at the Nevada Test Site during the 1950s. The bar’s most recognizable symbol, the large googie-style neon sign, was also lovingly restored, bringing light and life to the facade.
“Rise Above,” the street art project sponsored by the Life is Beautiful festival that took place in downtown in October, won the Public Art category. Each of the art pieces were completed by different well-known artists on buildings throughout downtown. Many of the pieces remain in place in the original 15-block area, continuing to engage the community in artistic dialog.
Nominations for the awards were accepted by the city last year. A seven-member volunteer citizen committee reviewed and ranked the submissions for recommendation to Mayor Goodman, who selected the award winners.
The city of Las Vegas is committed to sustainability and livability in our community. Visit the city’s website at www.lasvegasnevada.gov/sustaininglasvegas
to learn about what is being accomplished.