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Fremont Street Experience

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1995, Jon Jerde Partnership. Fremont St. from S. Main to 4th sts.
  • Fremont Street Experience (Julie Nicoletta)
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

This massive space frame, supported by 90-foot-tall columns, covers four blocks of Fremont Street. The frame forms a barrel-vaulted, semi-transparent ceiling connecting the buildings on opposite sides of the street. Bolted onto the underside of this frame is a steel lighting trellis with 2.1 million fixtures, designed by Young Electric Sign Company, maker of numerous signs along the Strip. By day the structure provides the street with some shade and a sense of enclosure. At night the bulbs light up hourly for a seven-minute sound-and-light show for which the structure is named.

In order to lure visitors from the Strip, the city and casinos along the street cooperated to build this project, banishing cars and converting Fremont into a pedestrian mall. However, the street has become de facto a private space; in return for paying most of the bill, casinos are permitted to close the street to the public periodically for their own use. Although the Experience appears to be a commercial success, its construction has certainly compromised this historic area of Las Vegas.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta


What's Nearby


Julie Nicoletta, "Fremont Street Experience", [Las Vegas, Nevada], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Nevada, Julie Nicoletta. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 212-212.

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