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September 2, 2015

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Downtown historic area named to Top Great Neighborhoods list

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For more information about the APA’s Great Places program, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces

John S. Park neighborhood

The John S. Park Historic District has been named one of the Top Great Neighborhoods for 2010 by the American Planning Association.

Launched in 2007, the APA Great Places in America program recognizes neighborhoods, streets and public places that exemplify “exceptional character” in the way developers planned the community.

“This is a great recognition for the John S. Park neighborhood and the city of Las Vegas,” Mayor Oscar Goodman said in a statement. “Everyone knows that Las Vegas has world-class entertainment, restaurants, hotels and boutique shopping and now they know that we also have the best neighborhoods and communities.”

The neighborhood around John S. Park, located at the corner of East Charleston Boulevard and South 8th Street, was the first in the city to embrace the Garden City approach to planning that has its origins in 19th century England. Self-contained communities, featuring balanced residential, industrial and agricultural areas surrounded by gardens, characterize this urban planning approach.

Developed primarily between 1931 and 1956, the neighborhood features Ranch homes; tree-lined, curvilinear streets; and secluded, park-like settings. The neighborhood’s main amenity, Mary Dutton Park, underwent a $1.47 million restoration that was completed in 2003. The neighborhood’s tree canopy coverage is 34 percent – 23 percent higher than the city’s average.

“John S. Park has long been a gem in our downtown core,” Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese, who represents the area that includes the neighborhood, also said in a statement. “It’s an historic neighborhood where the residents have really come together to create a wonderful community.”

The neighborhood has two subdivisions: Park Place Addition, first populated during the construction of the Hoover Dam, and Vega Verde Addition, which met housing needs connected to the establishment of Nellis Air Force Base. Both received national historic designation in 2003 after the park’s Neighborhood Association produced a neighborhood plan and lobbied for the recognition.

“The city and residents are to be commended for their efforts to keep the neighborhood’s Garden City qualities and mid-20th century architectural character intact,” APA CEO Paul Farmer said.

The nine other APA 2010 Great Neighborhoods are located in the following cities: Frederick, Md.; Lafayette, Ind.; Denver; Oklahoma City; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Oak Park, Ill.; Boston; Cincinnati; and Jacksonville, Fla.

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