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For week ended January 16, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Old Mormon Fort reopened to public
Las Vegas NV Sun 11Jan00 D6
By Ed Koch and Shaunta Grimes: Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- The Old Mormon Fort where the city of Las Vegas was founded in 1855 by colonists from Salt Lake City has been restored by the state of Nevada and opened as a state park. The building is a recreation of the original fort built by LDS missionaries in 1855 and abandoned two years later.

The effort to rebuild the fort is the fruit of the work of former Las Vegas City Manager Ashley Hall, who sought in 1989 to get title to the fort, which was on the National Register of Historic Buildings, turned over by the city to the state so that it could be preserved better. Hall was one of the first visitors January 3rd when the new park opened.

"It's wonderful," said Hall. "Back in the late 1980s, I felt the best effort to save the fort was to put it in the state's hands, and (then-Mayor) Ron Lurie and the City Council agreed. I have always felt that once this was reconstructed it would draw great interest."

The reconstruction of the building cost $2.5 million and involved difficult work finding materials that would pass modern building codes but be faithful to the original construction. The thick adobe walls in the building were constructed from bricks manufactured by a Tucson, Arizona company, the only company that makes adobe bricks that meet current codes. The cost of purchasing the bricks and shipping them to Las Vegas exceeded $1 per brick.


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