Towns with interesting Main Streets in Las Vegas area : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


I'll be in Las Vegas March 21-26 for the Society for Photographic Education conference, and might have time to cruise around and shoot. I am interested in towns with distressed, "authentic" main streets (don't have to be called Main). Anything within two hours of Vegas? Any opinions on the Main Street of Vegas, Fremont Street? I'm shooting color but I don't mind dead color.

-- Sandy Sorlien (, March 12, 2002


"Dead color"???? what an interesting choice of words; a contradiction of terms, in my book. if you're talking about low-saturation color, then a look at almost any Andrew Wyeth painting will confirm that those colors are alive and well. Maybe a trip to Iceland would help; that landscape abounds with some of the most beautiful color on the planet, all quite close to the gray end of the saturation scale.

~cj (Seattle)

-- chris jordan (, March 12, 2002.

" Dead Colour" - I thought that was black and white? Great term actually


-- tim atherton (, March 12, 2002.

Everywhere you look in Las Vegas you find "Dead Color"... "Dead Color" pulling slot machines hours on end..."Dead Color" clearing hangovers in the AM...

The whole town is Dead!!! So why not shoot images of the nightlife - from a new perspective = "Dead"...???

-- Per Volquartz (, March 12, 2002.

Hi Sandy...

sorry.. but you won't find "authentic" main streets anymore in "Los Wages".. everything is steel and concrete with "family attractions".. do you mean "dead color" = unsaturated color?... you may have better lucks with little towns about a hundred miles from there...anyway..the Valley of Fire is a good place if you like landscape...

ohhhhh BTW watch out for the "one arm bandit" :)

-- dan n. (, March 12, 2002.

I haven't been there in two years but the old part of Kingman, a town that is about an hour south of Las Vegas on Rt. 93, had a few streets like what you describe. Jerome and Prescott, both another hour or so south in Arizona, also have areas that should likewise fill the bill.

-- Jeffrey Goggin (, March 12, 2002.

The old Fremont St. has turned into "The Fremont St. Experience" with a light show every hour. It has it's charm, you might say, but not what I suspect you're looking for.

-- David Goldfarb (, March 12, 2002.

Hi Sandy, Tonopah's probably too far north, about 215 miles, but we have a great old Main St. Here's an address for a picture, but it's rough so give me the benefit of the doubt. Just shot an 11X14 print with the little Ebay camera! And here's a revved up version done during a street dance last July; Gives you an idea. Goldfield NV. is also on the way about 26 mi. south of us, and has a "truly deserted" main street, as the highway runs perpendicular to the old Main St. where the famous Goldfield Hotel is.

-- Jim Galli (, March 12, 2002.

Some of the old Nevada towns within a couple hours drive can be interesting. Try Beatty. Nearby is Ryolite~~a ghost town where the color may not be dead, but . . . You should be able to find a ghost town map and guide in Las Vegas (see

Good luck.

-- Jay wolfe (, March 12, 2002.

hi sandy

you might contact the shpo (state historic preservation office(er)) for nevada. they might be able to point you in the right direction for towns/villages/cities with old decaying central business districts within 2 hours of vegas. (old decaying = still authentic, run-down, not turned into a theme park).

best of luck

-- jnanian (, March 12, 2002.

I agree, Goldfield, by Jean NV South of Vegas about 25 miles off I15, does have some serious distressed looking streets. But don't be fooled lots there can sell for $100k. Great old saloon still standing. But a real gem that most people overlook in Vegas is the Old Moulon Rouge Casino, active from the 50's to early 70's. It was still in the days of race discriminations against blacks.... even Sammy Davis jr. was forced to stay there when performing in the big casinos. It has been abandoned and certainly looks distressed... they have been trying to get funds to revive it, as it should be a historic building... very unique and screams early 1950's. It is located west off 15 North by the Las Vegas Review Jornal building and a huge furniture store...(both highly visible to your left on I15 North, just before the spaghetti bowl, (a massisve intersection of interstates such as 15, 95 and 93) if you could look to your right while traveling 15 South, you can see the Moulin Rouge, but don't try it, you may crack your car up. I forgot the street name, but you can easily find out once you get close... the Casino now has a fence at the sidewalk with a guarded gate, but I am sure they will let you inside the fence to photograph.

-- Bill Glickman (, March 13, 2002.

Hi Sandy,

I've seen (and participated in) your earlier posts regarding your Main Streets project. Fremont Street once you get away from the casinos isn't a bad choice. Its pretty run down but everything there is a part of the culture which I guess is the nature of authentic. I would not shoot there alone with a large format camera. I would also recommend the following (using your two hour radius). Boulder City, NV (about 30 minutes), Chloride, AZ (about 90 minutes), someone mentioned Kingman, AZ, Death Valley Junction, CA (90 minutes and really more of a ghost town but pretty amazing), someone mentioned Beatty, NV (about 2 hours), Caliente, NV (about 2hrs), Pioche, NV (3 hrs but it might fit in well with your project), Hurricane or Cedar City, UT (2hrs), and last maybe Oatman, AZ (2 hrs and completely touristed but pretty cool)

Okay, considering travel limitations and what I know of your project I would consider Boulder City and Chloride as the best choices. If I were willing to travel farther I would do Caliente and Pioche. There is information on the web for Chloride, Death Valley Junction, Pioche, Oatman, and Boulder City.

I don't know if thats any help. If you have any questions feel free to email me directly.

Good Travels,

-- Kevin (, March 13, 2002.

Okay, duh. After rereading your post, Fremont Street is excellent, and then Caliente/Pioche. Boulder City is pretty sanitized (even the empty buildings look good) Chloride is cool but kind of precious at the same time.

There is also an earlier post recommending Goldfield near Jean, NV. That town is actually Goodsprings.

Sorry for the earlier ramble.

-- Kevin (, March 13, 2002.

Thanks for the correction Kevin, I knew when I was typing Goldfield it did not sound right!

-- Bill Glickman (, March 13, 2002.

Thanks to all for the suggestions. I have written them down so if I do not get to these towns on this trip (which is only a week, filled with conference meetings) I will definitely scout them out sometime in the next two years. This forum is the best place to get these tips!

If anyone is going to be at the SPE conference (Tropicana, Thursday through Sunday) come find me (National Board member) and say hello!


-- Sandy Sorlien (, March 17, 2002.

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