Culture

[Museum]

Mob talk

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Museum designer Dennis Barrie, left, speaks during a media tour of the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (“The Mob Museum”) in the former U.S. Post Office and Federal Courthouse building in downtown Las Vegas on May 25, 2010. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, center, looks on, and Dennis’ wife and co-designer Kathleen Barrie is at far right.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Love it or hate it, the Mob Museum will happen. Not as a rinky-dink attraction, but as an institution with historic and educational heft, led by the influential museum heavyweight Dennis Barrie as creative director. In a recent tour of the site—the city’s first federal building—undergoing restoration at 300 Stewart Ave., representatives said of the site:

• “This is one of the great restoration projects in this city.” –Dennis Barrie, of the restoration of the neoclassical-style building, formerly the post office, built as the city’s first federal building as part of a depression-era federal construction program and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

• “This is a place that’s very near and dear to me.” –Mayor Oscar Goodman, who tried his first federal case in the same building.

• “We’re standing in the most significant artifact, this building” –Kathleen Hickey Barrie (Barrie Projects), of the building where, in 1950, Sen. Estes Kefauver, a Tennessee Democrat, led hearings for the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce.

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