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The celebration of Southern Nevada's roots aims to promote cultural tourism along with raising awareness of the preservation cause.
“Home and History is a heritage tourism event that is meant to not only get locals excited about history and learn more about the past we have architecturally here in Nevada but also to bring in people from across the country,” Heidi Swank with the Nevada Preservation Foundation told KNPR's State of Nevada.
Since its inception in 2015, Home and History has grown from a handful of open houses and conversations over cocktails to this year’s series of events running April 28-30.
Michelle Larime with Nevada Preservation Foundation said the event this year will include home, bus, and walking tours through historic neighborhoods. Currently, most of those neighborhoods are in the downtown area, including Beverly Green and Paradise Palms.
However, Larime said there are dozens of other homes around the Las Vegas valley that have historic value.
“Really the idea is we have great architecture throughout the valley and we would like to grow into some other areas that we haven’t been yet such as Henderson has a great old downtown," she said, "There is a lot of great stuff in the Sandhill area around Shenandoah.”
She said several things can make a home historic.
“Some are just architectural significant and some maybe significant for the person who lived there but it’s all these different aspects of how it ties back to our community's history that makes that house something special,” Larime said.
Swank said Palm Springs Modernism Week, which attracts 70,000 visitors and pumps nearly $30 million into the Coachella Valley economy, served as inspiration for Home and History.
“We saw what a great success that is there and how that can generate so much – not just interest in the history – but also generates a lot of economic benefit that goes back to history preservation in Palm Springs,” she said.
Swank would like to see the event in Las Vegas take off in the same way and become not only self-sustaining but generating enough profits to reinvest back into historic preservation in Southern Nevada.
Lisa Smith is with Palm Springs Modernism Week. She told KNPR that the event is a cultural phenomenon because of what it brings together.
“It really is a phenomenon when you bring together cultural tourism, academics, architects, scholars, preservationists, city officials and people who are just collectors or aficionados of mid-century modern design this wonderful synergy happens,” she said.
Modernism Week kicks off on Feb. 16 and runs for 11 days.
Swank hopes the event in Las Vegas will show people the side of our city that even some locals don't know is there.
“I don’t think people realize how much we do have,” she said, “We have all of this off Strip homes and businesses and all of these great buildings off the Strip that are still here”
Assemblywoman Heidi Swank and Michelle Larime, Nevada Preservation Foundation; Lisa Smith, Palm Springs Modernism Week