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UNLV Libraries Main Page -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections -> Las Vegas Architects and Buildings Database -> People

James B. McDaniel

Died: 1978-03
Primary Profession: Architect
  • Southern Nevada
Notes & References: AIA
-architect for several UNLV buildings in the 70s
“The Drawing of Architect James McDaniel, AIA.” University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Library Special Collections. Complete list of drawings may be found at:

GENERAL: UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: Listing of the the Drawings of James McDaniel. ASL File #: LVA JM 1

Hess, Alan. "Viva Las Vegas: After-Hours Architecture." San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1993, 96.

"Hotel Information." Boyd Gaming Corporation. 2001. [Online]. Available: Accessed January 25, 2004. ASL File #: LVA(F) JM 2

Koch, Ed. “Kathy Holmes, 1936-2007.” Las Vegas Sun. March, 21, 2007. ASL File #: LVA (F) JM 4

Stimpson, Miriam F. A Field Guide to Landmarks of Modern Architecture in the United States.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1985. Arch Ref. NA 712 S75 1985 and GEN 7

“University architect dies following illness.” Las Vegas Review-Journal. March 21, 1978. ASL File #: LVA (F) JM 3

UNLV James R. Dickinson Library: Las Vegas, NV.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus
4505 S. Maryland Pkwy., 89154
Nicoletta, Julie. Buildings of Nevada. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Includes project
description and photo.

UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: “Square Books in a Round Building or a Proliferation of Circles.” No date. ASL File #: LVA (F) JMA 15

UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: “UNLV Dickinson Library Building Chronology.” No date. ASL File #: LVA(F) JMA 16

from an Oral Interview with Mr. Wing Fong:
What did you think of Mr. McDaniel and the design of the UNLV campus and the performing arts?
At that time, Mr. McDaniel won many architecture awards, not only here, but in other places, in Las Vegas. He was very famous for revolutionizing the architecture industry, making it more modern and streamlined, and he won many awards. And he was really a devoted architect. For example, Art Ham Hall and the Judy Bailey Theater, it was his idea to divide [the theaters] into two parts because the acoustics [for] music and drama are completely different. So he and I went to look at different areas, what made them successful and why the other projects failed. We went to Lincoln Hall and also the (Dottie Shindler) Theater. We learned about the acoustics. It’s so important. And the second phase, to decide how big we should build the building. At that time we knew, including Dr. Moyer, we knew the town would grow. The campus is going to grow to 25,000 in student enrollment. Dottie Shindler (???) Theater and Lincoln are (aren’t?) much bigger than this one. At that time we knew we would always have competition on the Strip, you know, all kinds of entertainment. So we originally decided it’s going to have a capacity of 5000. We figured people [would] feel much more easier [being able] to see the stage, so we decided [on a] limit [of] 3,000 seating capacity instead of 5,000. I said okay, if we [go] beyond 3,000, we’d like maybe two performances instead of one. Or three, if necessary. So we decided on 3,000 seats, which is working out real well. I don’t think we [have] ever had overcapacity, or had to have a second performance.

Then the Judy Bailey Theater, we felt that every seat [should be] orchestra seat. You notice, again we designed it with about a capacity of 600. When we have, like [the] Nutcracker Suite, it takes [up] much space. Then they have 2 or 3 or 5 performances. Everybody enjoys both theaters, not only [from] the acoustic standpoint, but they feel like the place is almost full most of the time, so it gives them a good impression. The performance must be very good [since] the theater is almost filled up.

from an Oral Interview with Mr. Wing Fong in Las Vegas, Nevada. (accessed 6.25.2007)