Group appeals razing historic, damaged Moulin Rouge

A group wanting to preserve what’s left of the Moulin Rouge hotel has appealed the Las Vegas Historical Preservation Commission vote that cleared the way for the badly damaged structure to be demolished.

The appeal was filed by Pat Hershwitzky, who spoke against the demolition before the commission and is active in the Moulin Rouge Museum and Cultural Center, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving the casino’s legacy.

Her letter challenges some of the findings presented to the commission, such as the assertion that the distinctive tower on the site could not stand on its own. She also criticizes what she sees as a rush to judgment by the commission, saying that an independent engineer should have been consulted with the aim of trying to preserve some of the remaining structures.

The casino, located on Bonanza near H Street, opened for only a few months in 1955 but gained fame as Southern Nevada’s first racially integrated resort. It was also the site of a 1960 meeting that effectively ended segregation on the Strip.

The property suffered from neglect and fire in the ensuing years. Its neon sign has been saved, but there’s little left on the property, and the current owner took it over through foreclosure and is anxious to sell it.

The appeal will be heard by the Las Vegas City Council .

Hershwitzky said she hadn’t heard yet whether the matter will be on the panel’s July 21 agenda.

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