You are here
Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Hall
The Desmarais House is one of the only surviving structures from the Mexican and Territorial periods on the Old Town Plaza.
The house is named for Michel Desmarais, a French-Canadian trapper for the Hudson Bay Company who arrived in Las Vegas from Quebec in 1837 and purchased the existing structure in 1849. The one-story adobe building follows the Spanish Colonial planning model of houses grouped together around an enclosed central plaza. Originally, a wooden portico (portal) fronted the building, mediating between exterior public and interior private spaces. Altered in the 1930s by the addition of a curvilinear parapet, corner pylons with spiral caps, and a cement stucco finish, the house retains the characteristic pedimented window frames of the Territorial Style, while its long, low facade still conveys a sense of the plaza’s original form.
Requests to visit the Desmarais House should be directed to Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Hall, the building’s current occupant.
McCulloch, Frank Eliot. “Family Portrait: Deluvina Vigil y Montes de Santa Ana DesMarais (1830-1894).” July 1950.
Threinen, Ellen. Architecture and Preservation in Las Vegas: A Study of Six Districts. Las Vegas: Design Review Board, City of Las Vegas, New Mexico, 1977.
Wilson, Chris. The Plazas of New Mexico. San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press, 2011.
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.