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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Fremont Street

 
 
Fremont Street Marker <i>side A</i> image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 26, 2011
1. Fremont Street Marker side A
Inscription. This is a two sided marker
Side A:

Standing on Fremont Street today, it's hard to visualize the canvas tents with hand-painted wooden signs that lined this dusty street and served as hotels, saloons, shops and banks in the early 1900's. During the transition from a frontier town to a neon-lined gambling extravaganza, Fremont Street, named after explorer John C. Fremont, has remained at the heart of downtown Las Vegas. For many decades, Fremont Street was where residents shopped, teenagers cruised, and tourist played.

Early on, canvas tents were replaced with wood, brick, and concrete block buildings in the Romanesque, Victorian and Greek Revival styles. Like a typical western town, wide arcades and broad canopies with carved balustrades extended from high false fronts over the boardwalk. Corner buildings had angled entrances to take advantage of the busy intersection. The most historic survivor of the era is Golden Gate Hotel & Casino (then Hotel Nevada), which open in 1906 at One Fremont Street. The hotel was built using concrete as the primary building material by John F, Miller, who bid successfully on the corner lot at the 1905 land auction that created the new town of Las Vegas.

The sudden influx of tourism triggered by the construction of Hoover Dam and the legalization of gambling in the
Fremont Street Marker <i>side B</i> image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 26, 2011
2. Fremont Street Marker side B
early 1930s fit perfectly with a "Wild West" theme that Las Vegas promoted, attracting thousands of visitors. Soon "sawdust joints" with wooden swinging or sliding glass doors replaced most of the smaller businesses along Fremont Street. Businesses had names like The Frontier Club and Hotel Apache, with signs rising above the rooftops with ornate western lettering and bright contrasting neon colors.

Side B:
During the 1940s, Fremont Street exploded with neon as signs became larger and more innovatively arranged, battling to catch the consumer's eye. Modern streamline styles appeared in sign design and many casinos featured lighted overhead canopies and large, rounded, ever-flashing bull nose corners. The height of signs kept increasing, with the famous Las Vegas Club sign rising 120 feet above the sidewalk. Open frame sign appeared on rooftops, and combined with large marquees, they created neon "wraps" that covered the entire building fašade with dazzling light. The most spectacular "wrap" was created at the Golden Nugget in 1956.

In the 1950s and 1960s the introduction of high-rise towers forever changed the scale of Fremont Street. Casinos expanded, absorbing neighboring businesses, exemplified by the Horseshoe Club's takeover of Boulder Club and later the Mint. Wild West imagery remained popular, personified by the 1951 "Vegas Vic" sign,
Fremont Street Marker <i>side A</i> image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 26, 2011
3. Fremont Street Marker side A
which waved at visitors with a friendly "Howdy Podner" from atop the Pioneer Club.

Due to its roots of spectacular lights, the biggest big-screen on the planet, Viva Vision, dazzles over 25,000 visitors nightly with free light and sound shows, and has become the signature attraction of the Fremont Street Experience. This canopy was built in 1995 and contains over 12 million LED lights and has a 550,000-watt sound system. Even with all these profound changes over the last 100 years, much of the history of Las Vegas still exists under the layers of neon on Fremont Street.
 
Erected 2005 by The Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial.
 
Location. 36° 10.256′ N, 115° 8.658′ W. Marker is in Las Vegas, Nevada, in Clark County. Marker can be reached from Fremont Street. Click for map. Marker is on the north side of the pedestrian mall approximately 100 feet west of Casino Center Boulevard. Marker is in this post office area: Las Vegas NV 89101, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gaming / Helldorado (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Las Vegas' Most Historic Hotel & Casino (about 500 feet away); Neon / Atomic Testing (about 500 feet away);
Fremont Street Marker <i>side B</i> image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, September 26, 2011
4. Fremont Street Marker side B
Block 16 (about 500 feet away); The Flame Restaurant (about 600 feet away); Nevada Motel (about 600 feet away); The First Telephone (about 600 feet away); Auction Site / First Train Depot (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Las Vegas.
 
Categories. EntertainmentIndustry & Commerce
 
Fremont Street at Night. image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, June 10, 2010
5. Fremont Street at Night.
Photo on the Fremont Street Marker image. Click for full size.
6. Photo on the Fremont Street Marker
Photo Caption:
This is the view of Fremont Street that greeted visitors disembarking from the railroad depot.
Photo on the Fremont Street Marker image. Click for full size.
7. Photo on the Fremont Street Marker
Photo Caption:
Early Fremont Street
Photo on the Fremont Street Marker image. Click for full size.
8. Photo on the Fremont Street Marker
Photo Caption:
A painting class works in the Union Pacific Park at the western end of Fremont Street.
Photo on the Fremont Street Marker image. Click for full size.
9. Photo on the Fremont Street Marker
Photo Caption:
Fremont Street Experience
Photo on the Fremont Street Marker image. Click for full size.
10. Photo on the Fremont Street Marker
Photo Caption:
Neon signs illuminate the night
Photo on the Fremont Street Marker image. Click for full size.
circa 1970's
11. Photo on the Fremont Street Marker
Photo Caption:
Fremont Street 1970's
at 25 E Fremont Street, "Vegas Vic," as mentioned image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 12, 2002
12. at 25 E Fremont Street, "Vegas Vic," as mentioned
which waved at visitors with a friendly "Howdy Podner" from atop the Pioneer Club, can still be found at 25 E Fremont Street
20 E. Fremont Street, " Vegas Vicky" image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 12, 2002
13. 20 E. Fremont Street, " Vegas Vicky"
cowgirl, known as both Sassy Sally and Vegas Vicky, sits atop the Glitter Gulch. She was designed to kick her leg out over the street, but has never managed to do it.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 693 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   5. submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.   6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   12, 13. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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