The Boulevard Entrance is an iconic piece of Las Vegas architecture. Any image of the entrance is immediately recognizable by Las Vegas natives whether the photograph was taken yesterday or at our opening on March 6, 1968. It should surprise no one to discover that the entrance has a famous cousin. Both the entrance to The Boulevard and Seattle’s famed Space Needle were designed by the same architectural firm, John Graham & Company.
The Seattle World’s Fair, officially called the Century 21 Exposition, was held in Seattle, Washington from April through October of 1962. While several structures from the fair are still in use today, the most famous is the Space Needle. John Graham & Company designed the Space Needle to match the fair’s theme of ‘Life in the Space Age.’ It delighted fair goers when it opened. Offering amazing views from its observation deck and dinning in a rotating restaurant.
Looking at the structure today, it invokes an idealized future where technology has allowed humans live high in the sky above the floor of the earth. The Needle also reflects many of the principles of mid-century modern design; clean lines, geometric shapes, and an absence of flourishes. Architecture created with such structured and deliberate minimalism often successfully invokes a sense of timelessness in the observer. Rather than appearing to belong in a certain era, such structures remain iconic throughout the decades.
Like the Space Needle, John Graham & Company designed the entrance to The Boulevard using strong structural lines. The design elements of the entrance invoke clean modern shapes as the archway flows into the supports. This iconic structure has been a constant presence, watching Las Vegas history unfold. From the days when the ‘Rat Pack’ were kings of Las Vegas to the announcement of the new Las Vegas Raiders, generations of people from all over the world have passed through The Boulevard entrance.