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Martin Stern Jr.

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Martin Stern, Jr. was born in New York in 1917. His family moved to Beverly Hills in time for him to study architecture at nearby University of Southern California. After the war, he moved back to Los Angeles and set up a small practice. During the 50's he pioneered the Googie Architecture with the design of the three Ships coffee shops. His exuberant aesthetic proved perfect for Las Vegas; he designed many of the hotels on the strip beginning with the Sahara (1959) which ushered in the tall hotels that began populating the strip. He followed that with the Sands Hotel (1964), the Flamingo (1967) and the Mint (1968). By 1970 there were thirteen hotel projects in design or construction in Las Vegas. The International Hotel next to the Convention Center built for Kirk Kirkorian 1970 changed the model for the urban resort hotel transforming it into a Disney World of theme restaurants. The following year, he completed the MGM Grand, now Ballys. He is credited for shaping the city especially in Learning from Las Vegas, Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steve Izenour's influential book. He died in 2001 in LA.