Neon Museum | Las Vegas History Through Neon

by Denise Marie

Established in the 1990’s in downtown Las Vegas, NV, the Neon Museum has an extensive collection of neon signs that once illuminated the city’s casinos and other businesses. Today, the museum is also part of a public art trail that runs from downtown to the Las Vegas Strip.

Click to visit the Neon Museum website

Click to visit the Neon Museum website

Collection Highlights

The main building at the Neon Museum is part of the La Concha Motel, which was originally built in the early 1960’s along the southbound side of Las Vegas Boulevard. Having a distinct parabolic facade with futuristic elements, the motel’s innovative architecture is attributed to Paul Revere Williams. Unfortunately, the historic motel was demolished in 2005 to make way for other modern developments. The Neon Museum acquired the motel’s unique lobby and several signs before the demolition.

After exploring the La Concha lobby, visitors could check out the Neon Boneyard Main Collection. This outdoor exhibit includes more than 200 neon signs that once stood throughout Las Vegas. For example, the Neon Boneyard includes a gigantic guitar-shaped sign from the iconic Hard Rock Cafe. This section of the museum also features a neon sign of the Riviera Hotel, which stood next to the original La Concha Motel.

The North Gallery presents plenty of other signature neon signs from the city’s casinos, resorts, restaurants and other businesses. Standing above a grassy median that divides Las Vegas Boulevard, the Silver Slipper sign points towards the museum. This gigantic shoe-shaped sign was taken from the Silver Slipper Casino, which opened its doors on the Las Vegas Strip in the early 1950’s.

The museum roughly marks the northern end of the Restored Las Vegas Neon Signs Tour, which is a public arts initiative. Visitors who follow this urban tour will see nine signature signs in the downtown district and on the Strip. Most of the refurbished installations stand on Las Vegas Boulevard. The self-guided walking tour ends near the Landmark Sign at the corner of Paradise Road and Sahara Avenue.

Location and Travel Advice

Situated on Las Vegas Boulevard North in downtown Las Vegas, NV, the Neon Museum is easily accessible by car and public transportation. Bus route 113 of RTC Transit stops on the northbound and southbound sides of the busy boulevard near the museum. If the on-site parking is full, additional space is available at the adjacent Harris Avenue parking lot. Additionally, this specialty museum is within walking distance of hotels and casinos on the historic Fremont Street in the heart of downtown.

Click to visit the Neon Museum official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the attraction in question.

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