This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Claytee White, inaugural director of the Oral History Research Center for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, White talks about famed architect Paul Revere Williams and his contributions to and impact on Las Vegas; his projects, including Carver Park, the La Concha Motel, the Guardian Angel Cathedral, and Berkley Square; why his designs were so different from anything else in Las Vegas; and why, despite Williams being highly successful, there was her bittersweet awareness of the loss of potential due to racism.
White collects the history of Las Vegas and the surrounding area by gathering memories of events and experiences from longtime residents. Her projects include early health care in the city, history of the John S. Park Neighborhood, The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project, and a study of musicians who played with some of the greats in the entertainment field.
She received her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles, master’s degree in history from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and has completed work toward a doctorate at the College of William & Mary.
White currently serves on the Board of Women of Diversity, the UNLV Presidential Debate Planning Committee, and the Historic Preservation Commission. She has also served on the Historic Preservation Commission for the city of Las Vegas, Nevada Humanities executive board, and is the past president of the Southwest Oral History Association.