LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In a city famous for imploding hotels, historic buildings and the stories behind them never seem safe. But with its rich history at stake, Las Vegas is getting ready to fill in some blanks about the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort.
The Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday will consider hiring Kautz Environmental Consultants, Inc. to complete an updated National Register of Historic Places nomination. When the fort was originally listed more than 50 years ago, it focused on its significance to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). In June 1855, it became the site of the first Mormon colony established in the Las Vegas valley, built by 30 settlers with the help of the local Paiute population. It has been a state park since 1991.
The fort is at the corner of present-day Las Vegas Boulevard North and Washington Avenue. It was built of adobe bricks along a creek that flowed from a spring.
A statewide historic preservation organization, Preserve Nevada, recently included the fort in a list of sites it considers the “most endangered.”
The Historic Preservation Commission requested an update to the listing to “create a more robust historic context” and to better document the site and how it changed through the years. The 2023 amended nomination will include:
- Research phase to expand on the historical context and correct any mistakes
- Archaeological field survey and property mapping
- Complete photo documentation of the property
- Update the description of the buildings to include all physical alterations after the 1971-72 nomination.
The commission is scheduled to meet at Las Vegas City Hall at noon. Funding of $29,800 would pay Kautz Environmental Consultants to complete the updated nomination.
A similar effort to update the listing of the Historic Westside School, 330 W. Washington, is also on Wednesday’s agenda.
The commission will also review a 314-page draft of a report on subdivisions in the Twin Lakes area, which may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Bounded by Decatur Boulevard on the west, Vegas Drive on the north, Rancho Drive on the east and U.S. 95 on the south, the neighborhood contains more than 1,500 properties that grew up around Lorenzi Park — originally, the “Lorenzi Lake Resort,” which opened in 1929.