This Is How Las Vegas Looked In The 50s
Las Vegas is one of the world's most famous cities and there is no doubt why: the lights, the glamour, the gambling and fun it has always embraced make it one of the most chosen destinations for tourists. How could you not be seduced by the idea of a night of party or getting married in the Little white chapel under Elvis blessings? Even though the modern city looks nothing like it did seventy years ago, some of its charm and uniqueness has always been there. We bring you the 50 most amazing pictures so we can travel in time and see what Las Vegas looked like back then.
It's hard to imagine Las Vegas without the tall and flashy buildings, but once upon a time, this city had a much humbler landscape. What it always had, though, was a lot of color, posters, signs and a fun spirit.
Even though many people associate Las Vegas as a city with no real culture it has been the main stage for many iconic artists and it still is. In fact, it was the place where Elvis played more times during his career.
Can you imagine a small hotel in Las Vegas as the only place to stay? Back in the fifties, there were no huge hotels with built-in casinos to stay but little inns and humble hotel rooms instead.
This picture is probably as the fifties as it gets and I can't get enough of it: everything from the hairstyles to the uniforms it's the most vintage you could get.
Las Vegas is one of the all time favorite spots to go on a road trip to because a side from all the nightlife experience, it has some of the most beautiful routes to get there.
Regardless of the decade, Las Vegas has always been a city of fun and decadence, and the night landscape filled with bright neon lights is a sample of it. Even when they are out, it looks amazing.
Even though many people think that Las Vegas is a romantic getaway, it's actually a great destination to spend time with friends, no matter how old or young you are.
Las Vegas is one of the all-time favorite spots to go on a road trip to because aside from all the nightlife experience, it has some of the most beautiful routes to get there.
Fancy cars in the fifties were quite different from what we would consider a high-end vehicle nowadays, but they still seem so classy and nice, don't you think?
You don't really need to be a big spender to enjoy some gambling in Vegas, in fact at least back then you could start off with as much as a penny.
A fun fact about Las Vegas that will clear the air on how flashy the city actually is: Las Vegas strip can be seen from outer space and it's the brightest spot on Earth
Even though most people consider Las Vegas to be a sinful and free spirited place, prostitution is not and never was legal, so sex workers have to work illegally. Gambling, on the other hand, is.
If you have any doubts on how severe the gambling addiction can get, here is a fact: many years ago nurses and doctors from The Vegas hospital were fired for betting over patients.
Fancy cars in the fifties were quite different from what we would consider a high-end nice vehicle nowadays, but they still seem so classy and nice, don't you think?
You might think that Las Vegas and Hawaii have absolutely nothing in common, but it's known as locals as the ninth Hawaiian island due to the huge amount of Hawaiian people living there.
Even though only fifteen percent of Las Vegas tourists visit the city with the intention of gambling, an outstanding seventy percent end up doing it while they are there.
Casino's staffs were all men until the Silver slipper hired women and the rest of the places ended up following them. Can you imagine Vegas with no women?
The Desert Inn has a funny story: when Howard Hughes was staying there on vacation he was asked to leave by the owner, so he bought the whole place so nobody could kick him out.
Not sure which year they started this, but there is a list of banned people in the city who can't get inside Casinos for different reasons. Yes, they have a little black book.
The Flamingo got his name in honor to a beautiful showgirl who had the same nickname due to her long legs and was the mobster owner's favorite girl in town.
If you are wondering how much money you could win in Vegas, let me tell you that the biggest earning was for thirty-nine million dollars after betting only a hundred.
One of the greatest things about Las Vegas is that is very hard to confuse it with somewhere else: everything has a lot of personalities and fits perfectly in its uniqueness.
The iconic statue of a cowboy in the front of the Pioneer is the tallest sculpture in the city when it's standing. And it was one of the first ones ever put there.
1955 was the biggest year in Vegas history since it started becoming a major spot over five decades after being founded, although it was frowned upon by many back then.
Most building constructions started in the seventies and haven't stopped ever since: Can you imagine Las Vegas with no tall constructions and outstanding casinos bigger than blocks? I simply can't.
Las Vegas club
The Las Vegas Club was built in 1930 and was demolished in 2017, bringing down a major part of the city history since this was one of the first major casinos there were.
Michael Jackson had plans to construct a giant sculpture of himself in the desert to advertise his comeback. He didn't get the chance to do so, but it would have been very impressive.
The Sands in Las Vegas began as a small hotel and became with time one of the biggest and most luxurious resorts available in the city. This is how it looked in its beginning.
Last frontier village
The Last Frontier Village casino was the second one ever opened in Las Vegas back in 1942. It worked and remained iconic for many years until it was finally closed down in 2007.
After almost 60 years of working, the Sahara in Las Vegas was closed in 2011, but it was very much important to the city apparently because they reopened it a few years later in 2014.
We usually would imagine palm trees as a part of a much more tropical landscape but Palm trees are in fact the second most common tree type in Las Vegas.
Even though the buildings may not have been as huge as they are now, there was always a sense of fun in Las Vegas constructions, regardless of how simple or small they were.
A lot of the fuzz that Vegas achieved in the fifties has to do with the end of the war and how it happens in most post-war places, the need people had to have a little fun.
The original Stardust resort was built in 1957 but it had his major renovation in 1991 when it became a 32 story tower super complex, but the spirit and name remain the same.
The Thunderbird hotel was the fourth resort to open in Las Vegas strip in 1948 and it still works nowadays: although a lot of things have been improved and changed, it still holds a vintage vibe.
After his first boom in the fifties as a party city, Las Vegas population grew its double each decade up until the 2000s recession and a lot of people adopted it as a place to live.
The Golden Nugget was originally constructed in 1946 and it's one of the most antique casinos in the history of Las Vegas. It didn't have any hotel space until 1977 when they built the first tower.
Lit by neon
One less fortunate thing that we can't leave outside the history of Las Vegas in the fifties was its huge amount of organized crime activities: it was a mobster's favorite.
The Silver palace casino was actually the first one to have two whole floors in Las Vegas, making it a pioneer on bigger and more outstanding constructions in the city.
Nothing like today
The famous Las Vegas Strip has one particular thing to it: it's not really inside Las Vegas city, so the legislation and taxes are very different for those with business there.
The Apache hotel had been a part of Las Vegas since 1932 and it never went as luxurious as its competitors: however is reminded as a fundamental piece of the blooming of the city.
We really hope they hadn't demolished the Las Vegas Club: it may be a little behind on glamour and the neon extravaganza but it seems like an iconic place it would have been great to keep.
We are not very used to seeing grass or day life when it comes to Las Vegas, right? Even though is mostly chosen for its nightlife it's a very nice city to enjoy all day.
This colorful Bird Statue may not look that amazing compared to some of the giant and very detailed sculptures that there are now, but back in the fifties, this would get all the attention.
It seems empty, doesn’t it?
The thing about really tall buildings and huge constructions is that they even give the illusion that the city is crowded: it looked so much cleaner and peaceful back then.
A lot of people not only choose to take road trips to Vegas because of its accessibility and good routes but also for the number of amazing fun stops and things you can see along the way.
Even though is a city that was back then and it's now worth knowing, there is something you should keep in mind: if you are not at all into nightlife and party, this may not be the best destination for you.
However, a two-day trip could be more than enough to soak on the city spirit of fun and carefree, and to at least get some Instagram shots of the brightest landscape you'll ever see.
A tiny and humble hotel like this in inimaginable nowadays and I'm not sure it would survive with all the competition that there is. Would you rather stay in a cute place like this or a huge casino?
The Stardust front will always remain an iconic spot in Las Vegas and all those who were lucky to have a picture there back when it was vintage, should keep that forever.