City Design   Boulder City
City Design - Inside the Gate - Incorporation - The DocumentaryKNPB-TVPBS Online  

Walker Young and Frank Crowe
  • City Design
  • DeBoer's Plan
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  • DeBoer's Plan

    Many historians believe that DeBoer's design for Boulder City was farsighted for its time. DeBoer, who was a prominent city planner, worked for the Bureau of Reclamation out of Denver. His design envisioned a series of greenbelts separating various parts of town and circular blocks with multiple family dwellings.

    But with the Stock Market crash in October 1929, the project moved forward under a new and growing cloud of national uncertainty created by the Great Depression. DeBoer's grand scheme for a planned community was scaled back. Walker Young and Frank Crowe decided which parts of DeBoer's plan to keep and which to toss out. According to Dennis McBride the Boulder City of today, the original part of it, is more a product of Frank Crowe and Walker Young than it is of Saco DeBoer.

    Original Saco DeBoer plan for Boulder City Aerial photo of Boulder City
    The image on the left is a copy of DeBoer's design. The image on the right is a photograph of the actual city. You can see that much of DeBoer's design was never used.
    Learn more about the layout of the city.

    The Bureau of Reclamation and the Six Companies shared the construction of the new city. Take an interactive tour of the actual city and see what was built.

    Dennis McBride:
    Boulder City was laid out like a triangle pointing north up the hill and at the apex of the triangle was the Bureau of Reclamation administration building. On the streets just below that were the government houses built to be permanent, built out of brick. Then below Wyoming Street is where the Six Companies built their houses, their rabbit hutches, their little two, three room hutches down there. And they were built strictly frame, bare wood floors. They weren't well built at all.

    Pat Lappin:
    They built tennis courts. Tennis was a very accepted way of recreation. You wouldn't think after working seven days a week under those kind of circumstances that anybody would want to play tennis, but they did.


    Nevada Humanities Committee E.L. Cord Foundation Union Pacific Foundation
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