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‘Castle’ on Historic Westside joins National Register of Historic Places

Updated April 3, 2024 - 4:00 pm

A Historic Westside home has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The nearly 90-year-old Christensen House, located at 500 W. Van Buren Avenue, was added to the list in February in recognition of its significance to the African American community in the Westside.

The home served as a social hub for middle-class African Americans and was once one of the only permanent homes in the area, the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said in a news release.

Built by Leroy and Carrie Christensen, the house features French-eclectic style architecture and a cone roof, which helped the property get its nickname “The Castle.”

“The house embodies the way in which the newly emerging and economically empowered African American middle class worked to develop their own version of suburban homeownership amidst an era marked by widespread discrimination and residential segregation in other parts of the city,” the department wrote.

The Christensen House was added to the register with the help of the Underrepresented Communties grant from the National Park Service, which helped fund an architectural survey of the Westside, the department said.

“The national acknowledgment of the history and beauty of the Christensen House is a well-deserved honor and a salute to its current owners, whose work and passion are preserving this vital piece of the history of the community of Las Vegas,” Bob Stoldal, chairman of the City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission, said in the release.

The home joins several other Historic Westside buildings on the list, including the Westside School and Harrison’s Guest House.