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What is that weird, metal building in downtown Las Vegas?

Have you ever driven past that building in downtown Las Vegas that looks like a twisted roll of film and wondered what it was?

The building, located at the corner of West Bonneville Avenue and South Grand Central Parkway, is the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health — a research center and clinic that specializes in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The building was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry who also designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Museum of Popular Culture in Seattle.

The center officially opened in 2010 after three years of construction.

Lou Ruvo Center is one of the leading clinical trial sites for Alzheimer’s disease, and in 2023 administered its first dose of the drug lecanemab, a treatment for early Alzheimer’s, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Lou Ruvo is named for liquor and wine business executive Larry Ruvo’s father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1992 and died in 1994. Larry Ruvo also founded the nonprofit Keep Memory Alive, which supports the center.

Ruvo wanted Gehry to design the center to boost its popularity, telling him, “Use your celebrity to cure a disease,” the Review-Journal reported.

Ruvo said he and his family struggled for a year to find an accurate diagnosis in Las Vegas for his father’s disease, which forced the family to go out of state for treatment. The experience inspired him to create a center in Southern Nevada that supports patients and caregivers dealing with brain diseases, the Review-Journal reported.

In 2022, the research center received an $11.3 million grant with UNLV for joint research into the causes of degenerative brain diseases.

The center also houses the Keep Memory Alive Event Center, which hosts banquets, conferences and weddings.

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