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With all the construction currently underway, and ongoing... [Continued]

Question of the Day April 26, 2015

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Best Building in Vegas Poll: The Reader Feedback


Here's a whole bunch of the email feedback we received from our recent Reader Poll, concerning your favorite building or architectural feature in Las Vegas. If you're unfamiliar with any of the options, check the link for the poll results, where you'll also find links to photo galleries of all the voting options. Here's what you had to say about what you picked, and why:

  • "I’m not sure I can explain why I picked the Luxor, but for some reason other than the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign which must not be considered architecture, is to me the most symbolic of Las Vegas. I know it’s not one the oldest, to conjure up images of Vegas days gone by (like the Rivera, Flamingo or Caesars Palace), and it doesn’t make you think of The Rat Pack or Elvis. I just think the uniqueness of the black pyramid stands out above all else. All of the newer hotels basically look somewhat alike. If you’re talking architectural accomplishments, the Luxor has gotta be the one you think about: Anyone can put up a high rise, or a hotel modeled after another building, but a freaking pyramid?! Are you kidding me? Who does that? . . . Vegas baby!" [Ed: Well, technically we'd say this also is "modeled after another building," but we're not here to split hairs. We totally get your point and we're with you on that -- see above!]

  • "Mirage volcano, with hotel in background."[Ed: We considered including the volcano, but figured it's more a sound-and-light show than it is an architectural feature, as such. The Mirage was the first hotel to employ that classic three-winged structural shape that became a staple for awhile, but we guess it just doesn't "wow" us anymore; we can understand how you might beg to differ, however :-)]

  • "Mandalay Bay."

  • "I was surprised you didn't include any neon signage as architectural features (unless you were planning another poll for that?), which it absolutely is, according to our tour guide at the Neon Museum last week. So my vote is for the old Stardust sign and Aladdin's lamp if I can count them, both of which still exist, dismantled, at the Neon Museum." [Yes, you may count them! While there's not much vintage neon left in situ -- the reason we missed it out, other than via the inclusion of the Riviera, and the Rio, for that matter -- but we did consider including the porte-cocheres at Circus Circus/Plaza, which a couple of readers wrote in to suggest.]

  • "The Belligio dancing waters (at night) and the Conservatory. Runners up: The "Excalibur" Castle, but only at night. Paris and The Venetian. (Both day and night). Caesar's Fountain of the gods near Forum Shops. Newest: The Smith Center Best interior: The Venetian. Mamma Mia! no contest! Worst of all time: Last place to Circus Circus, of course!; if they ever implode that, then next up is Fremont St.; saddest looking was The Greek Isles (boom!); looks great on the outside but boring inside: Harrah's." [Ed: Kind of like a lot desserts we've tried...]

  • "Caesars Palace - elegant and very stylish." [Ed: For us it has its moments, for sure, but more on the inside than the outside, and those new towers are an eyesore and an insult to the most fundamental principles of architecture and proportion. That's just in our humble opinion, of course. (But our grandfather did happen to be an acclaimed architect who designed several of London's listed buildings, so we're not entirely talking out of our butt here :-)]

  • "Everything about the Bellagio hails romance and enjoyment, even during the day. Best thing Steve Wynn ever did, even though the Mirage had its day."

  • "Now that's a tough one! I like so many of the examples, but for different reasons: architecture, entertainment, memories or just the proverbial 'WOW' factor!"

  • "Picking one is unfair. Both The Neon and Mob Museums are excellent."

  • "I liked the old Treasure Island as when it first opened (not the new "TI," which has lost all its appeal)."

  • "I was thinking it should be the Las Vegas sign on S. Las Vegas Blvd." [Ed: We toyed with including this or not, then right in the middle of this poll running, designer Betty Willis passed away, so we're glad we at least had included her Blue Angel in the line-up.]

  • "The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. This is one architectural feature in Las Vegas that every tourist and resident has to see once, and those who haven't had the pleasure to visit our fabulous city have seen the sign most likely 100s of times on TV, in movies, etc. The sign also represents Las Vegas best, and its design says everything you need to know about Las Vegas: It's fabulous, and you are welcome here, and there's lots of lights and neon. Plus, the sign has stood the test of time, which makes it a historical site, as well." [Ed: OK, OK, enough already; now we feel really dumb for not including it!]

  • "The clown sign in front of Circus Circus. Actually, the whole dated, wonderful front of Circus Circus. It may not be faux Paris or Venice or the lake at Bellagio in Italy or Egypt, but what it is is authentic old Vegas kitsch at its best. As these old signs fall, one by one, pieces of Las Vegas history are lost. I hope it stays awhile."

  • "My vote goes to the Flamingo, which wasn't on your list; nevertheless I feel it's a classic in it's own right. Underappreciated, but a classic. It's sort of a 70's monstrosity, but I love the reddish glow it casts in a setting LV sun!"

  • "This was a tough one!! I voted for Paris--but come on!! There are too many wonders. The Eiffel Tower, Bellagio, The Venetian, New York, New York and Luxor are all amazing and seeing them all for the 1st time could take anyone's breath away. Great poll!!" [Ed: Thanks! We do our best ;-)]

  • "The Strat is the only landmark that is easily visible from outside of town; it's a great reference point."

  • "It was really hard to pick just one, but I voted for the Smith Center. I highly recommend their tour. The Strat holds a special place in my heart, but not for the architecture. On the few occasions when I get turned around enough to lose my way, I just look for the Strat, which can be seen from just about anywhere. I just point my car in its direction and, voila, I am back to the Strip in no time. ;-)."

  • "Of the 35 selections offered, I'd pick the old Las Vegas High School, because I'm a big Art Deco fan, and this building is a rare gem in the city. My ideal choice would be the 1st 4 blocks of Fremont Street with all the old nostalgic neon signs, but that view has been ruined by the Fremont Street Experience. So that leaves the one old nostalgic casino that hasn't been ruined, which gets my vote: the EL CORTEZ."

  • "Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. How could you leave this off the list?" [Ed: Um, we couldn't possibly, which is why we didn't!]

  • "This is the most interesting and creative building I've ever seen. The symbolism of the collapse of the the brain is described in the architecture. I always drive by and show friends every time we visit Vegas." [Ed: See! Told you it was on the list!}

  • "Coming from the opinion of one who lived in Las Vegas for a decade, you left off the most beautiful casino in the valley: Red Rock. (I have since moved to Atlanta, which incidentally has the best Gentlemen's Clubs. Sorry Sapphire and Rhino.)"

  • "My vote for the best building in Las Vegas: multimillon-modern-dream-home-in-las.html." [Ed: Wow, yes, this $19 million home is pretty extraordinary. It actually looks like a place you could "live" and relax in, as opposed to being such a show home you might be afraid to breathe in there. Now we're just hoping that this is your home and that you might invite us over for coffee?]

  • "I picked the cathedral. The acoustics are wonderful, the mural is captivating, and the windows are a history of Las Vegas in stained glass."

  • "Visually, the Venetian is the most architectually attractive building in Vegas. Inside and out, classy and gorgeous. But their are features about Paris that make it my favorite. To stand outside and look up at all the detailed statues around the perimeter of the building and think of the all the thought, design, and work that went into the construction leaves me in awe. Then you move over to the replicas of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower and it leaves you scratching your head. Amazing day and night !!" [Ed: It always makes us laugh how the Eiffel Tower is half out, and half if. We can picture the architect staying up night after night, trying to figure out how to fit all the required elements into an impossibly undersized space, then having a "Eureuka!"/"screw it" moment: "Hey, I'm just going to put them on top of each other. Problem solved! This is Vegas, right, so rules don't apply."]

  • "I picked the wheel, simply for the concept: 'Let's spend a pile of money that we don't have building a less-than-compelling attraction that is a one-time-ride, offers no thrills, is slow and boring, and hope it attracts a crowd to the Linq restaurants and bars. Amazing." [Ed: Do our British spidey senses detect a hint of sarcasm in there??]

  • "Love those UFOs that float over the front of the Fashion Show Mall." [Ed: Ha! That's funny, since it's meant to be a 'cloud,' we've always been led to understand, although it's much more 'extraterrestrial' in your sense, we agree. It's whatever you want it to be!]

  • "What an interesting poll. Vegas is by far our favorite place to visit. We like everything about what Vegas has to offer. So our favorite--DRUM ROLL PLEASE---all of the above!!!"

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