Mid-century modern churches
Built on land donated by “Mr. Las Vegas,” Moe Dalitz (in a bid to improve his Mob-centric image, no doubt), pioneering modernist Paul R. Williams was enlisted by the Catholic Church to design the Guardian Angel Shrine in 1963.
Raising the stakes on your typical mid-century church A-frame, though, Williams’ exaggerated Googie-like design did not go unnoticed and raised a few eyebrows… even by The Strip’s standards!
Twelve smaller A-frames bisect the larger structure with stained glass windows – by artists Isabel & Edith Piczek – depicting gambling themes (yep!). A bold colorful mosaic is visible above the structure’s main entrance and still generates attention from neighboring visitors walking past on their way to or from The Encore Hotel & Casino.
While Moe Dalitz would go on to help shape modern Las Vegas, California architect Paul R. Williams would leave his own mark on the city with additional projects like the La Concha Motel, the Moulin Rouge Hotel & Casino (rest in peace) and the historic Berkley Square neighborhood.
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