Neon Museum: A Mid-Century Case Study

FREE Webinar on September 9 at 12pm

Join Robert Chattel, AIA and Shane Swerdlow for a webinar about the trials and tribulations of saving the Mid-Century Modern La Concha Motel lobby from demolition, its move to a new site, and rehabilitation as the Visitor Center for Las Vegas’ highly successful Neon Museum. Learn how a team of advocates for its protection, a structural engineer, and a consulting preservation architect worked together to save the iconic structure. The webinar is the third and final part of a California Preservation Foundation (CPF) series on architecture and urbanism in the mid-twentieth century.

Robert Chattel, AIA, Historic Architect, will moderate the webinar. Other speakers will include Nancy Deaner, Director, City of Las Vegas, Office of Cultural Affairs; Mel Green, Structural Engineer, Melvyn Green & Associates, Inc.; Shane Swerdlow, Project Manager, Chattel, Inc.; Mara Jones, Architectural Historian, Nevada State Historic Preservation Office; and Danielle Kelly, Executive Director, The Neon Museum, Las Vegas.

Register for the webinar

Registration is free for members of CPF and partner organizations, including Restore Oregon, Nevada Preservation Foundation, Preserve Nevada, Nevada Architectural History Alliance, and The Neon Museum. $15 for Non-members.


 Robert Chattel, AIA, Moderator

Robert Chattel, AIA, Moderator

Robert Chattel, AIA is a licensed general contractor and architect in California with more than 30 years’ experience in historic preservation. He established Chattel, Inc. in 1994 and has been involved in achieving creative changes to diverse historic properties throughout the western United States, including a notable array of Modern buildings. For the 1958 Edward Durell Stone-designed Stuart Company Plant and Office Building in Pasadena, Robert consulted on design and construction of an adaptive reuse project integrating the historic New Formalist building within a compatible new apartment community and performing arts venue. He worked closely with public agencies and Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee when consulting on rehabilitation of the 1957 Googie-style Harvey’s Broiler, now Bob’s Big Boy, in Downey. As consulting historic preservation architect for the Neon Museum Visitor Center, he collaborated with Westar Architectural Group to develop plans for rehabilitation of the La Concha Motel lobby and a new addition housing museum support spaces. He serves as President Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco-based California Historical Society.


  Shane Swerdlow, Speaker

Shane Swerdlow, Speaker

Shane Swerdlow is a historic preservation planner at Chattel, Inc. involved in design collaboration and environmental review for projects involving historic resources. His work on Modern buildings includes a historic resource assessment of the 1955 National Register-eligible, Welton Becket and Associates-designed Schoenberg Hall at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which houses the Herb Alpert School of Music, and consultation on design of a new addition. He also consulted on and monitored construction of stabilization and rehabilitation work at the 1913 National Register-listed Pacific Electric Railway – El Prado Bridge in Torrance, designed by Irving Gill, a pioneer in Modernism. For the Neon Museum Visitor Center, he managed implementation of National Scenic Byways Program grant funding and worked closely with the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office, Federal Highway Administration, and Nevada Department of Transportation to successfully complete Section 106 environmental review. He serves as Vice President of the University of Southern California (USC) Sol Price School of Public Policy Alumni Association Board of Directors and member of the Board and Planning and Land Use Committee of Los Angeles’ Mid City West Community Council. 

La Concha Motel Lobby disassembled at donor site before relocation in 2006.

Chattel consulted on design of the new addition housing offices and support spaces.

The Neon Boneyard is home to over 150 neon signs.