Las Vegas Sun

October 15, 2018

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Dunes hotel tower architect Starkman dies

Although one of his major Las Vegas structures no longer stands, Los Angeles architect Maxwell Starkman left his mark with other Las Vegas commercial and residential structures that were part of his vision for the booming West.

"He was a visionary who saw a need for G.I. housing after World War II and went on to do a lot of work in big box retail, including supermarkets and drug stores," said Las Vegas developer Irwin Molasky, a longtime friend who hired Starkman to design several local projects.

"He was a prolific architect with a great design team."

Maxwell Starkman, who built the Dunes hotel tower on the Las Vegas Strip where the Bellagio now stands, died Dec. 29 of natural causes. He was 82.

His death was disclosed last week by his firm, Maxwell Starkman & Associates, which was established in 1958.

In Las Vegas, Starkman also designed the hotel tower adjoining the downtown Main Street Station.

Starkman designed for Molasky retail facilities along Maryland Parkway, including the Park Place Shopping Center and the Sunrise City Shopping Center, and some homes.

Molasky's youngest son, Alan Molasky, worked for Starkman & Associates at the start of his career. Today, Alan is a Las Vegas developer whose company builds about 1,000 apartment units annually, Irwin Molasky said.

Starkman was better known in Los Angeles for designing thousands of tract homes and apartments after World War II to meet a population boom, as well as the $60 million Filmland Corporate Center, now called the Sony Pictures Plaza, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance.

He retired in 1987 after completing the museum project.

Born in Toronto, Starkman joined the Royal Canadian Engineers after high school and served in Europe during World War II.

He earned his architecture degree from the University of Manitoba, winning the school's Gold Medal in architecture.

Starkman moved to Los Angeles in 1950. Among his other projects of note were commercial buildings and luxury condominiums along Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood and hotels in the United States and Asia, his company said.

Starkman is survived by sons David, Laurence and Robert; a daughter Nancy; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death in 1992 by his wife of 46 years, Gloria.