Theses Master's

A Methodology for Preserving Las Vegas Neon Electric Displays.

Cagasan, Jennifer Joy Elacio

This study presents a methodology for preserving Las Vegas neon electric displays. Historical background is given to describe the global prominence of the neon signs since their birth in the early 20th century, and how they arrived in the deserted railroad town of Las Vegas. Las Vegas preservation efforts for neon electric displays are discussed to situate the current context for preserving these signs. An analysis of the historic, aesthetic, and social values of neon electric displays is delineated to help determine the significance of a sign. Since natural decay has been shown to be one of the biggest threats for the signs survival, a study is carried through of the sign’s material make-up and how these materials decay in order to investigate ways of remediating sign deterioration. Conservation methods, that are in keeping with the Secretary of the Interior’s Treatment for Historic Properties, are developed to help foster respective preservation treatments. Using the Las Vegas neon signs as a case study, the deterioration and significance of the Neon Museum collection is analyzed in order to present a preservation plan that preserves signs that show high significance and high deterioration. Lastly, a preservation methodology is prepared to propose standards in preserving historic neon electric displays in-situ. Las Vegas is identified as a unique city, if not for its sheer quantity of historic neon signs, but also for the implementation of programs to help preserve these significant signs. With the presence of historic neon electric displays being ubiquitous, the lessons learned for the preservation of Las Vegas neon electric displays can be adopted everywhere.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Pieper, Richard D.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 11, 2013