The Architecture of Excess: Caesars Palace at 50
The architectural history of Las Vegas is among the most idiosyncratic in the world. If the Gold-Rush-town-turned-tourist-destination is know for anything design-wise, it's the ersatz and anachronistic themed destinations that line the famous Strip. Perhaps most famous among them is Caesars Palace, an ode to ancient Rome that made its Las Vegas debut on August 5, 1966.
The resort was one of the first to tap into the theme concept, today a mainstay of the city. According to PBS, Caesars's founder, developer Jay Sarno said: "I'm going to design a casino with lots of columns and statues and fountains and tons of marble."
He did just that. His complex boasted an oval casino of his own design, surrounded by 20 black columns trimmed in white marble and gold leaf; a 20-foot-tall statue of Julius Caesar; a 141-foot fountain that even Evel Knievel himself failed to jump; and more than 8,000 pieces of marble.
Since then, the hotel has grown up with the Strip around it, as Vegas visitors demand ever-greater thrills. And thanks in part to a new $1 billion investment, the casino resort continues to enjoy a much happier history than the emperor with the same name.
Cover photo by the Las Vegas News Bureau.