The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream (MIT Press)

By | June 26, 2017
The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream (MIT Press) Author Stefan Al
ISBN-10 026203574X
ISBN-13 9780262035743
Year 2017-03-03
Pages 272
Language English
Publisher AAAI Press
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The Las Vegas Strip has impersonated the Wild West with saloon doors and wagon wheels it has decked itself out in midcentury modern sleekness It has illuminated itself with twenty story high neon signs then junked them After that came Disney like theme parks featuring castles and pirates followed by replicas of Venetian canals New York skyscrapers and the Eiffel Tower It might be noted that forty two million people visited Las Vegas in 2015 ten million more than visited the real Paris More recently the Strip decided to get classy with casinos designed by famous architects and zillion dollar collections of art Las Vegas became the implosion capital of the world as developers driven by competition got rid of the old to make way for the new offering a non metaphorical definition of creative destruction In The Strip Stefan Al examines the many transformations of the Las Vegas Strip arguing that they mirror transformations in America itself The Strip is not as popularly supposed a display of architectural freaks but representative of architectural trends and a record of social cultural and economic change Al tells two parallel stories He describes the feverish competition of Las Vegas developers to build the snazziest most tourist grabbing casinos and resorts with a cast of characters including the mobster Bugsy Siegel the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes and the would be political kingmaker Sheldon Adelson And he views the Strip in a larger social context showing that it has not only reflected trends but also magnified them and sometimes even initiated them Generously illustrated with stunning color images throughout The Strip traces the many metamorphoses of a city that offers a vivid projection of the American dream

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