I’ve talked about vintage neighborhoods before. But I don’t think I’ve mentioned how the local legal community has embraced an area a bit south of Downtown, known as the Las Vegas High School Historic District. This residential neighborhood is the oldest in Las Vegas to retain its original architectural integrity.
This neighborhood is roughly bounded by Sixth and Ninth Streets, and Gass and Clark. It is filled with an assortment of Tudor Revivals, Mission Revivals, bungalows, Spanish styled homes and even a “French Eclectic.” The neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. A self guided walking tour is available here. One house you can’t see on the tour, though, was once located at 420 S. 7th. It currently rests at the Clark County Heritage Museum.
The homes here were mostly built from the late 1920s until mid WWII. While some of the original houses have long since been demolished, and at least one moved, numerous others remain. A few remain as private residences, but the majority now house assorted businesses, with law firms especially prominent. The close proximity to both the state and federal court buildings make this area a natural choice for many law firms. When you have to go to court often, being able to nip back and forth quickly makes life a lot easier.
Working in an older neighborhood offers other amenities, as well. Mature trees, flowering vines, and plant-filled courtyards make for a relaxing space for breaks and downtime. Unlike the vast expanses of shiny office buildings and concrete parking structures that make up other legal enclaves, this homey neighborhood offers plenty of green space. Of course, there is also the sheer aesthetic pleasure to be found from the vintage architecture, with such details as woodwork, tiled floors, and windows with distinct character.
And when I say vintage, I do mean vintage. Several of the neighborhood homes were designed by architect A.L Worswick, best known for designing the Apache Hotel (later the Horseshoe), which had Las Vegas’s first elevator. Worswick also designed the Las Vegas Hospital, and several schools.
A number of early Las Vegas luminaries also called the neighborhood home. Percivial Nash, Las Vegas’s first police chief, hung his hat on 10th Street. R. B. Griffin, the developer of Mt. Charleston and Rancho Circle lived a block from the High School. His home was later owned by Pop Squires, who was the publisher of a long time Las Vegas newspaper, the Las Vegas Age. Davey Berman, a partner of Bugsy Siegel, rented a home on 6th Street for a time.
The Clark County Bar Association (CCBA) is one law-related entity that has chosen this area for its home, in what is now called the James E. Rogers Building. Its original structure was a 1500 square foot, three bedroom home built in 1942. Over the years, the property also had a pool and a guesthouse, but those are long gone. The original house was remodeled into the current 6500 square foot building in 1991. The staff of CCBA has their offices here, with space for committee meetings and a classroom for continuing legal education, as well. The second floor of the building is currently used by Clark County Legal Services. Outside, there is a free-wheeling mass of greenery, with trees, hostas, vines and flowers.
My own office is in a fairly new and shiny building, with decidedly modern details, and the obligatory stately palms. But thanks to my involvement with the CCBA, I get to visit the Las Vegas High School Historic District frequently. I do have to get my vintage fix.