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.