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As We See It

Now that it’s been sold, will we ever see Liberace’s home again?

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A British businessman purchased Liberace’s 15,000-square-foot villa on Shirley Street.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

It’s a piece of history, to be sure, but the future of Liberace’s 15,000-square-foot Las Vegas villa on Shirley Street is a huge question mark following its purchase by British businessman Martyn Ravenhill. He told the Las Vegas Sun last week that he plans to work “magic” on the property, currently in a poor state due to years of neglect, but that he’s not sure if he’ll be able to open the doors to the public. Brian Paco Alvarez, chair of the Liberace Foundation, says Ravenhill has not yet reached out to the nonprofit organization regarding the mansion’s future, but needless to say, the Foundation, which owns the rights to Liberace’s name, likeness and rights of publicity, is very interested in his plans. “We’re very protective of [Liberace’s legacy],” Alvarez says, adding that part of the challenge the home poses is its location. Past efforts to turn the property, which has had several owners since Liberace’s death in 1987, into an events center have been met with resistance from the county because it’s zoned residential. Over the course of the home’s turbulent history, there was even a proposal to move it to a large lot and couple it with a museum, Alvarez says. If Ravenwood does plan tours, Alvarez says the Foundation would gladly work with him “as long as it’s a quality product.” Much like Liberace himself.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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