Center for Gaming Research
Neon Survey
Barbary Coast

Description of sign(s)

1. Name: Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino

2. Owner: Coast Casinos

3. Address: 3595 Las Vegas Blvd. 737-7111

3b. Additional Site Details: Just West of the Maxim, on a strip of property adjacent to the Flamingo, the Barbary Coast appeared in 1977 dressed in Burgundy and gold with full wrap mansard canopies and simulated tiffany glass fascias. YESCO's Brian Lemming drew from 19th century woodblock alphabet styles to create the new distinctive logo style. It has since earned the nickname Barbary Coast Block. Lemming's bull nose design paired two opposing drum elements, which tapered near midpoint and were ringed with traceries of traveling lamps alternating with decorative panels outlined in red neon. Other signage includes a pylon sign on Flamingo Rd., textual wall an logo signs, as well as LED display screens. The screens are located near walkways, which extend north/south across Flamingo road, and east/west across Las Vegas Blvd.

4. Condition: Structure 5 Surface 5 Lighting 5

Notes: See description

5. Form: plyon, fasica

6. Specfic Description: Upon the south elevation of the building, eight foot tall channel letters spell the "Barbary Coast" logo. South of the main logo, two square poles support the Barbary Coast pylon, which is on the north side of Flamingo, facing east/west. The two legs play Atlas to a double backed, internally lit, message cabinet, with vinyl lettering. The two legs protrude through the top of the sign for a short distance before the main logo cabinet begins. It is about half the size in height of the internally lit message center and containing more elements of design. "Barbary Coast" is spelled in white channel letters and filled with incandescent bulbs, in the Barbary Coast text. The edges of the letters are actually narrow channels that house tubes of gold neon. The neon and the channels actually create the designed curves of the fonts. The centers of the top and bottom edges of the cabinet, are crafted into protrusions in the rectangular shape. They are placed cleverly shallow into the surface to almost seem as if they are resting on the width of the cabinet instead of being part of it. Being completely treated in a gold paint on its width edge, which are parallel to the straight portion of the cabinet edge width, helps with the illusion of the sections being separate entities. Orange and burgundy scroll works are graphically placed into the faces of these protrusions in the panel to finish them off. Headed west at the beginning of the actual property, the first vestiges of signage hangs above the parking garage. A triangular back lit cabinet is finished in polished gold aluminum with a raceway acting as an element, on the edge pointing north, then transforms into a raceway arrow pointed toward the entrance of the garage. The famed overhang creates an arch over the garage entrance, which is recessed all the way back to the main wall of the structure. Mirrors create the surface of the wall at the back of the tunnel vault, of the recessed arch. Upon the mirrored surface a channel logo for the "Drai's" nightclub, hangs quite high above the pedestrian's head. The logo is bordered with green neon and filled with incandescent bulbs. The entire sign is a shallow channel letter design allowing enough room for the depth of the bulb. Another arch and tunnel, with a mirrored wall, is located just west of the first arch. It plays host to a brass colored chandelier with spherical lamps. At ground level underneath the middle section of the famed structure where the main logo text resides, we have an entrance to the casino with a cabinet denoting that over the door. The cabinet is a mirrored face with a gold aluminum polished raceways with incandescent bulbs. The text spelling "Hotel Casino Entrance" is in gold polished channel letters and filled incandescent bulbs. Underneath the canopy, the faux Tiffany glass is separated on its edges by gold polished raceways with incandescent bulbs. Past the main entrance another tunnel arch is formed just past the "B" in Barbary main logo and plays host to a different entrance. It too has a brass chandelier and a mirrored cabinet of the same design as the afore mentioned entrance. The only difference is the text. It spells " Casino Entrance." The rest of the treatments for this sign are identical to the first entrance. On the northeast corner underneath the bull nose, a giant brass chandelier hangs in the center, supported with a multisided, mirrored column. The corner of the building is also an entrance. The west side of the building boasts two wall signs. The south side of the building plays host to the main logo text for the Barbary Coast facility, upon the fascias architecture. The middle of the sign is a long low rise arch. Giant channel letters spell Barbary Coast, above the row of faux stained glass squares, and stand independently away from the wall. They are filled with incandescent bulbs and bordered with neon. The interiors are painted red and the exteriors are treated in gold. Rows of red, vertical, neon tubes line the face of the façade behind the standing channel letters. Continuing around the corner upon the west face of the building the façade continues for a short stretch north after the corner rotunda. The wall of the building itself is where another Barbary Coast text logo resides It's large, and occupies a good portion of the area of the wall. The letters are designed in the same fashion as the letters on the pylon, painted white on the interior and treated gold on the exterior. Above and below the text, two cabinets crafted into scrollwork, similar to those seen on the pylon yet are not attached to the text. The cabinets are slightly recessed providing room for a border of gold neon. Below that and above an LED screen another logo for Drai's, as seen on the south elevation, hangs on the wall. A pair of LED screens flank the nw corner, on the west and south faces of the building. The LED screen on the south wall is at the end of an elevated walkway, that crosses Flamingo. The West wall LED is appropriation to the elevated walkway crossing Las Vegas Blvd., on the west side of the building as well. Another Drai's logo sign shares the west wall also. Along the fascia awning that wraps around the building graphics adorn the rounded panels, which simulate the Tiffany glass. Vertical raceways separate these panels. Neon borders each one of these panels as well as polished raceways along the top and bottom. Incandescent bulbs line all the raceways, as well as the outer edges of the underside. On the North wall of the building, just around thew corner from the signage on the west face of the building, another Barbary coast logo wall sign is located on the top portion of the building. It is accompanied by an internally lit, plastic, message board, with vinyl lettering. The two pieces together sit in a slightly recessed niche, so that the board and the text are flush with the rest of the building. The letters are painted yellow on the inside, possess incandescent yellow incandescent bulbs on the interior. The letters are also treated with the same gold finish seen throughout the establishment.

7. Type of Display: neon, incandescent, LCD, LED

8. Media: steel, plastic

9. Non-neon treatments: graphics, paint

10. Animation: flashing, chasing, oscillation

Notes: All incandescent bulbs on the polished, gold raceways, chase each other down their entire lengths. The bulbs inside the polished channel letters oscillate as well.
The incandescent bulbs in the Drai's sign also oscillate.
The pylon sign: The background of vertical red neon bars chase each other from the outer ends, until the entire background is illuminated, then the incandescent bulbs inside the letters chase down and fill the letters, which then oscillate. The text then steady burns, chases downward, then leaves the letters dark in it's path. Once the letters are dark then the neon background curtains open chasing from the center to either end. Once the neon goes dark, then the empty text chases downward again, oscillating, then chasing from top to bottom leaving the letters dark in it's path.
The text on the west side of the building lights up one letter at a time, then oscillates, and then steady burns. The letters then oscillate again, shut of for a split second. Then each individual word lights up one at a time. "Barbary" then "Coast," "Barbary" then "Coast" again. On the last sequence of the individual words lighting up they stay lit, and turn off one letter at a time.
The main marquee: Each letter of the main marquee illuminate one letter at a time, then oscillate. While they are oscillating then, the vertical red neon bars chase from either end of the sign illuminating each bar in it's path. Right before it reaches the center, the letters shut off briefly then lights up "Barbary" then "Coast," then they both oscillate. They shut off briefly lighting up one word at a time again, oscillating once more. This pattern runs one more time while the red background chases from the center to the ends leaving the rest dark in it's path. The letters remain dark until the red bars regenerate, by chasing outward from two different spots, meeting in the center and extending to the ends. By the time the background is regenerated then the text begins to light up again, rapidly from left to right as if saying "Barbary Coast." It does this a total of three times. All the while the background is opening and closing from the two spots a total of three times. Once the background regenerates one more time, then the letters flash off then on, then alternates with the background. Letters, then background, letters, then background, then off. The two are not lit at the same time during this exchange, but take turns lighting up.

11. Environment: The Barbary Coast sits in the unique intersection of Flamingo Rd. and Las Vegas Blvd., once the main four corners of the Strip. The majority of the surface of the building is located on Flamingo road, just off the strip, headed east. Walking underneath the covered awing on the south side of the building, the constantly pulsating incandescent bulbs and various sounds of the casino bombard a pedestrian, enveloping one until you meet the end of the establishment at either end. The large drummed corner, makes the rest of the adjacent façade hard to miss. Directly south, across Flamingo the Bally's multimedia pylon behemoth resides, and the vibrant Flamingo, sits snugly next to the Barbary Coast's north side. The two establishments of Flamingo and Bally's are considered akin, due to such close proximity. Once you exit the Barbary Coast, utilizing the portals on the west side, headed north, you are almost automatically standing in a small courtyard, in the grasp of the attractive, bright, pink and orange plumage of the Flamingo Hilton. The pedestrian traffic flows from one establishment to the next with ease.

Artistic Context

1. Manufacturer: YESCO

2. Designer: Brian K. Lemming (bull nose and wrap around fascia)

3. Date of Installation: 1977

4. Date(s) of any major redesign/move: LED screens were added to the west and south faces of the building

5. Thematic Influence: A good phrase to describe the thematic influence would be that of a turn of the century ambience. With it's logo style derived from 19th century woodblock prints, canopies covered in faux Tiffany glass, ornate brass tracings, and distinctive mansards, the décor is reminiscent of a bustling turn of the century gala or festival.

6. Artistic Significance: The full wrap fascia design by Leming, is reminiscent of older Fremont street properties such as the Golden Nugget, and Binion's Horse Shoe. The pedestrian passes underneath the pulsating signage, next to the entrances to the facility. It is a significant design maximizing the space with its design.

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Last modified Friday, 08-Apr-2022 11:31:23 PDT