Free lecture showcases architect behind famous Las Vegas lobby

If you’ve ever pondered the curious shell-shaped building that serves as the Neon Museum’s visitor center, now’s your chance to learn more.

The La Concha Motel lobby now serves as the Neon Museum's visitor center.

Museum Scholar in Residence Dr. Leslie Luebbers will talk in depth about the La Concha Motel lobby’s architect, the late Paul Revere Williams, during a free lecture in honor of African-American History month at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Marjorie Barrick Museum (on the UNLV campus).

Williams, who died in 1980, was the first documented African-American fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He was also named the “Architect to the Stars,” designing homes for Hollywood stars and business tycoons including Tyrone Powers, Lon Chaney, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Jay Paley, Barbara Stanwyck, William Paley and Frank Sinatra.

Paul Revere Williams (Photo courtesy

During his 60-year career in architecture, he created more than 3,000 residential, governmental and commercial buildings, including:

  • Homes in Berkley Square, Las Vegas
  • First Church of Christ, Scientist, Reno, Nev.
  • Luella Garvey House, Reno, Nev.
  • The La Concha Motel, Las Vegas
  • The Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport
  • Guardian Angel Cathedral, Las Vegas
  • Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, Calif.
  • Los Angeles County Courthouse
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, Calif.
  • Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • The Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Howard University, Washington D.C.

To register for this lecture, email For more information on the Neon Museum, call (702) 387-6366.