University of Nevada

Mid-century modern buildings

Established as the Nevada Southern University in 1957, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus boasts well over a dozen handsome mid-century modern buildings, and although the campus has grown to over 330 acres since then, these modernist structures are all within easy walking distance of each other and can be viewed in about an hour.

If you start at the Flora Dungan Humanities building (4505 S. Maryland Pkwy.) just stroll west up E. Harmon Ave. until you reach the Facilities Management Administration building, then turn around and come back down one of the pedestrian paths to the north and finish at Archie C. Grant Hall.. Use a comprehensive campus map from the UNLV website for a self-guided tour and you’ll be done in no time.

Here’s a sampling of some of out favorite buildings with corresponding dates of completion and photos above, listed from east to west and back again:

Flora Dungan Humanities Building – 1970

William S. Boyd School of Law building – 1962

Environmental Protection Agency buildings – 1966

University Hall – 1960

Herman Westfall building – 1969

William D. Carlson Education building – 1972

Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall – 1976

Judy Bayley Theater – 1972

Archie C. Grant Hall – 1958

While the UNLV campus may still have a lot of nice mid-century buildings, it’s not immune to the city’s penchant for tearing things down. Maude Frazier Hall, the very first building to open in 1957, was bulldozed in 2009 despite being celebrated as a major achievement by local modernist architect Walter Zick.

Bonus Buildings! – Right next door to the UNLV campus at 4259 S. Maryland Pkwy., are the University Park Apartments, a series of four-plex Garden City-style apartment buildings constructed in the 1960s. Similar mid-century apartment complexes can be found throughout Las Vegas although you’ll seldom find the others looking as nice as these ones.

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