Contrary to popular belief, I did not attend the 1905 land sale that created Las Vegas. Still, I’ve lived here a very long time and do recall that Maryland Parkway was an oiled, dirt road…I know because I used to drive the oil truck myself.
It’s true that Las Vegas constantly evolves, but many things here stand the test of time. The 106-year-old Golden Gate Hotel is being remodeled to take advantage of the downtown awakening. The former Las Vegas High School, which opened in 1931, today educates new generations of students as the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing, and Visual Arts.
Another piece of Las Vegas history that remains relevant today is Paradise Palms, which is celebrating 50 years as the first master-planned development in Southern Nevada. Far from being a dusty Rat Pack relic, the community near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway remains vibrant with a strong sense of identity.
Paradise Palms proved to be ahead of its time in several ways. The architects were Dan Palmer and William Krisel, of Palmer & Krisel, one of the most influential firms Southern California ever produced. The interior designs were by world renowned C. Tony Pereira.
Its homes feature some of the best examples of Mid-Century Modern design found anywhere and have been likened to TV’s “The Jetsons.” The development was one of the first to forgo straight street grids and use the curvilinear patterns you see today in Summerlin and Green Valley.
It was the place to be in old Las Vegas and attracted scores of A-list residents, including Johnny Carson, Bobby Darin, Howard Hughes’ right-hand man Robert Maheu, Dean Martin and Caesars Palace founder Jay Sarno.
Today the makeup of Paradise Palms is as diverse as ever, with new media entrepreneurs and artists rubbing elbows with tourism executives and active retirees.
The neighborhood remains popular for the same reasons it always has: quality homes set in an attractive location that’s convenient to the Strip, airport, and rest of the valley, allowing residents to easily plug into or step back from the bustle of the city.
Paradise Palms is a true treasure of Las Vegas, and not just for its remarkable history and iconic architecture. It is a vibrant neighborhood that is home to an eclectic mix of talented, energetic, forward-thinking people.
There is an active, vibrant group of homeowners 50 years later that love this community and have meetings to support their neighborhood. Thanks to this dedicated group of men and women, Paradise Palms continues to hold its value and be a sought after refuge of tranquility.
And this dynamic is the most enduring thing about Las Vegas.