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Transcript of interview with Paul Senzaki, Alan Hess, and Charlie White III by Stefani Evans and Claytee White, September 9, 2016






Architect Paul Senzaki, and artist-illustrator Charlie White III recall their experiences of working in Las Vegas: Paul on Treasure Island, The Palms, Fremont Street Experience, and World Market Center and Charlie on Treasure Island and its successor, TI; New York New York. Architectural historian Alan Hess, who is an expert on Las Vegas architecture, offers historical context and asks pertinent questions. While this interview touches on several iconic Las Vegas buildings, the conversation mostly details why and how Steve Wynn's Treasure Island involved the labors of artists, illustrators, art directors, and designers of stage and screen as well as the those of architects, contractors, planners, and subcontractors.

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White, Charlie, Hess, Alan, & Senzaki, Paul Interview, 2016 September 9. OH-02824. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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AN INTERVIEW WITH PAUL SENZAKI, ALAN HESS, AND CHARLIE WHITE III An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2016 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editor: Stefani Evans, Franklin Howard Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans, Claytee D. White Project Manager: Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the UNLV University Libraries. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the University for the support given that allowed an idea and the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Building Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE Architect Paul Senzaki, and artist-illustrator Charlie White III recall their experiences of working in Las Vegas: Paul on Treasure Island, The Palms, Fremont Street Experience, and World Market Center and Charlie on Treasure Island and its successor, TI; New York New York. Architectural historian Alan Hess, who is an expert on Las Vegas architecture, offers historical context and asks pertinent questions. While this interview touches on several iconic Las Vegas buildings, the conversation mostly details why and how Steve Wynn's Treasure Island involved the labors of artists, illustrators, art directors, and designers of stage and screen as well as the those of architects, contractors, planners, and subcontractors. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Paul Senzaki, Alan Hess, and Charlie White September 9, 2016 in Venice, California Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Preface………………………………………………………………..…………………...……..iv Architect Paul Senzaki on his California childhood, his family's move to Colorado to avoid Japanese internment during World War II, and his education. Architect, architectural historian, preservationist, and author Alan Hess on his childhood and family, his education, his interest in mid-century modern architecture, and his focus on the architecture and design of Las Vegas, Nevada. White on his childhood, his first visit to Las Vegas, and how he came to work on the Treasure Island project. Senzaki and White on their work on Treasure Island, working with Steve Wynn and Kenny Wynn, and Steve Wynn’s guiding design principles. Senzaki, Hess, and White on the famiy-centered concept and design of Treasure Island and the MGM Theme Park. Senzaki and White on Treasure Island's volcano, pirate theme, design elements, and the particulars of developing the costumes and sinking ships for the pirate show, working with artists and unions, illustrations and traditional construction drawings, and of sharing a vision. White on inspirations for his Treasure Island designs, Steve Wynn’s transition to the elegance of Bellagio, water rights, the implosion of the Dunes Hotel and lack of reverence for historical buildings. Hess on the history of downtown Las Vegas and of the suburban Strip. All opine on the Fremont Street Experience and revitalization of downtown Las Vegas…………………..……………..…….1-37 White on "un-pirating" Treasure Island to transition it to TI, on the design of New York New York and its influences, the World Market Center, the Wynn; and Wynn's design philosophies from Treasure Island to the Wynn. All on other projects, casino design and serving a new clientele, favorite projects and buildings in Las Vegas, Monorail and modes of transportation, architect Joel Bergman, and the Aladdin. Hess on the Morelli House. All on the Rat Pack and the Mob, architectural mentors, and landscape architect Don Brinkerhoff……………...............37-66 vi vii viii 1 Good morning. This is Stefani Evans and Claytee White. We're in Venice, California, at the offices of Jerde Partnership, and we are with Paul Senzaki and Alan Hess and Charlie White. I'm going to ask each of you to pronounce and spell your first and last names, please. Paul Senzaki; P-A-U-L, S-E-N-Z-A-K-I. Alan Hess; A-L-A-N, H-E-S-S. Charlie White; C-H-A-R-L-I-E, W-H-I-T-E, number three. Thank you. We are going to start with your early life because that's probably what you know best about yourselves. So we'll ask you to tell us in turn about your early years; your parents, what they did for a living; siblings; that kind of thing. Paul? PS: Both my parents were born in California. After the onset of World War II, they moved to Denver, Colorado, so they didn't go through the internment. They were married in Colorado and had two children, myself and my older brother, Ron. In 1954, 1953-1954, they moved back to California. So I'm as much a Californian as most people. My mother worked as a secretary at USC [University of Southern California], and my father was a civil engineer; he worked for L.A. [Los Angeles] County Flood Control. My brother, Ron, went to UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles], got his law degree at Harvard, and practiced as an attorney for a number of years. He's been retired for quite a while. I went to USC, received my Bachelors of architecture degree, also a Master's in urban design, and I've been working as an architect ever since. CLAYTEE: Did a lot of families leave here prior to be taken out? PS: Most didn't. Most had to go into the internment camps; a lot of my uncles and aunts did. My parents were able to get out sooner. 2 AH: This is Alan Hess. I was born in Los Angeles [California], grew up in Pasadena [California], and then we moved to Oakland, California. My father worked for Ford Motor Company. So we were moved around the country quite a lot, as we left California and moved to Detroit [Michigan] and then Chicago [Illinois], but I always intended to move back to California. I always considered myself a Californian. I have one older brother, Rob. My mother was a housewife, typical of the period, and my father, as I said, worked for Ford. He would often travel to Las Vegas [Nevada] on business, actually go throughout Nevada on business, driving through, through the 1950s, and sometimes we would go to Las Vegas with him on family vacations. So I have very early childhood memories of Las Vegas from the late 1950s. But my real interest in Las Vegas grew when I went to architecture school at UCLA in the late 1970s. I started in 1975, and the book, Learning from Las Vegas was fairly new at that point and it absolutely captivated me, and that really started my interest in Las Vegas, which I've continued. I got out of architecture school. I worked for a number of architecture firms and then went on my own. But I was very interested in research, history, and writing. I've written a number of books, including one called Viva Las Vegas from 1993, which was a history of the architecture of the Strip and Fremont Street, which had not been ever recorded before in a complete way, which is what I desperately wanted to have. I wanted to know where all these buildings came from and who designed them. After that, I actually was able to interview a couple of the architects who were still around from those early buildings. So I guess that's it. Anything else? That's great. 3 CW: I'm Charlie White and I was born in San Diego [California]. My mom was a homemaker and my dad was an engineer scientist for North American Aviation forever. How incredible, he's still alive, one hundred-plus years old now, and smart as a tack, amazing. I've got two sisters and a brother. My brother is a writer and my sisters are homemakers. In my case, I never thought I'd ever go to Vegas in my life. I was an illustrator for twenty years and lived in New York for ten years of that. I had a ball. So by a fluke, I got kind of involved with this stuff. So how did that happen? How did you end up getting involved with Las Vegas? CW: Well, it's a total mistake. My studio was next door. I was down here for a long time. It was actually Jerde Partnership's studio and somehow I bullied my way in there. I was working on City Walk with the Jerde Partnership. I was really hired by MCA to do it, but I worked with Jerde. So that's how I met everybody here. When Treasure Island was kind of talked about, Jon Jerde called me up and asked me to do some illustrations about pirates. I remember telling him, "Why pirates? Why couldn't it be like Blade Runner or something I could identify with? But pirates, whoa." Anyway, it's a long story from there on. So tell me how you felt about Las Vegas after going there. CW: Well, it was really interesting. The first time—I hadn’t been there for years and years and years—but we were invited by Steve Wynn to go down there with Jerde, and I think Charlie Pigg for a weekend. They were put up at the Mirage in the suites there and were wined and dined by Steve Wynn. Doesn't get much better than that. It was amazing. So, yes, it was a different school. But that was my introduction and the rest is like history, obviously. So Paul, how did you get involved with Treasure Island? PS: Well, the office had been working on it for a while, and at one point it got to the point where 4 they needed somebody to take control from a project management point of view, and I was assigned to the project. Actually, my first trip to Vegas in relation to the project was with Charlie White and Charles Pigg, and we were put up at the Mirage. I received a room, and I get a call from Charlie saying, "Would you like to come down and see our room?" So I go down. They're in one of the villas. I'm looking around, and it's bigger than my house, there is an outdoor garden area, a spa, whatever, and the two of them are there. How did they rate the— Figure 1: Exterior of Treasure Island at sunset. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. 5 CW: Yes. And I've got to tell you a segment on that. We were picked up in a limousine. I mean, this is really cool. The next visit down there, I expected to be picked up by a limousine and things changed like..[snap] that. We were staying down at the Golden Nugget, and we had the cheapest car you possibly can get. Yes, it was a trip. I thought, what happened? That was really too cool. That weekend was amazing to me. So could the two of you talk about working with Steve Wynn? You can start any way you like. CW: Well, I had a ball, I must say. I mean, he drove the thing, obviously, and I got a real kick out of that. You don't want to get on his bad side, even thinking that way, because he'll undress you, but not by yourself. He wants twenty people around so everybody gets the message, right? So you want to stay out of the harm's way there. All due respect, I had a really great relationship, if you can call it that, with Steve. You had to learn with Steve, if you wanted to do something, you had to make believe it was his idea. Then you could get it together. [Indiscernible at 10:14 ] Figure 2: Exterior of Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. 6 I was scared to death all the time. Mainly I was scared of Kenny, Kenny Wynn. Well, these guys and Joel, they're like—boy, they just scream and yell at you. And when I was the art director down there, they'd say, "Charlie, get the heck out of here. We don't need you down here." I'd go home and I'd sulk because I had never experienced that and I was fifty years old; I never experienced people talking to me that way. But Steve was great, I have to say. But it was just talk. It was just the way they communicated. CW: Yes. I found that out later. I kind of grew up and figured that out. But at the time I was down there, it was spooky because everything—[Indiscernible at 11:13] clear across to the ships, working on the ships, and so he'd come over there and start screaming at me because I would be pretty picky and they were, I guess, on a time thing, and I would be slowing them down. So that was— Because it was my first time out. I was a painter, an illustrator. I didn't know how to do this kind of work. Figure 3: Dragon figurehead on the pirate ship in front of Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. PS: Because I was involved more in the execution end, most of my dealings were with Kenny Wynn. He was the president of Atlandia Design, which was Steve's sort of in-house design firm 7 that did all of the interior work as they were doing renovations and expansion. Kenny had an incredibly difficult job, because he had to bring the projects in on budget and on time with his brother, Steve, constantly walking the site, changing and adjusting things. When I started Treasure Island, Jon Sparer said, "This is going to be like an E-ticket ride. You've never done anything like this before." He said, "We issue bulletins, but we label them 'a.m.' or 'p.m.'" Those were changes issued with the contractor and they were coming out so often they couldn't just put the date. CW: Yes. It was a trip. Wow, wow. PS: The other thing is hardly anybody knows what an E-ticket ride refers to anymore. Oh, we've all been to Disneyland, our favorite place. Well, I think that's an age-related thing. PS: Right. CW: Apparently the storage [Indiscernible at 12:49] You can go back in the back of the Mirage, apparently, and they had all these trees planted and all this stuff in there. [Indiscernible at 13:01] AH: Could you discern in Steve Wynn some kind of guiding design principle or something that he would make these decisions from? CW: I don't know. Did you pick that? I didn't pick that up. It just a whim sometimes. I mean, he was very picky. It really amazed me. I was amazed with Steve and with the interiors. He was involved down to the paper napkins. And how he had an attention span to keep it that detailed. He had his own vision, obviously, of what he wanted and didn't like. But it was just sometimes, a decision was never—you couldn't rationalize why, a lot of times. 8 Figure 4: Entrance to Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. Figure 5: Decorative elements on the entrance to Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. 9 PS: If you look at Treasure Island, it's so different than the Mirage, which he had done earlier, and, again, different from Bellagio or the Wynn. So it wasn't like he had a fixed aesthetic necessarily, but Treasure Island was such an odd project. Tell us more about the Treasure Island sign. Figure 6: Pirate ship show pyrotechnics in front of Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. CW: Yes, he left us pretty much alone on that. He wanted quality. We did some good stuff. You're right: there's no way for him to get a judgment [Indiscernible at 14:36]. Like the ships we were doing, it was way out there. It was amazing. It was the most expensive sign in Las Vegas. The whole deal was the sign. 10 Figure 7: Meeting room at Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. Oh, everything. CW: The façade, yes. It was to get you to come in. And it did. It was wonderful. We watched it many times. PS: In retrospect, what's interesting, it was also sort of a gesture towards families. There was a very large video arcade. The pool was designed to be sort of kid friendly and things. It sort of started the trend of the family resort, which only lasted to the point when they realized that if you were there with your kids, you weren't gambling, and then it reverted back to the current theme. CW: Do you think—see, I never really picked up. I remember Jerde's part [Indiscernible at 15:59] was to do that. That was before the big deal was to do the theme area for the kids. I never felt that Steve was really behind all that. PS: Well, there was— CW: He kind of went there, didn't he? PS: I remember seeing one study for sort of an animated ride that you would get in little capsules 11 and go through a pirate story; that never went very far. But the arcade was put in and it was fairly good sized. CW: Yes, yes. AH: And this was about the same time, if I recall, that the MGM— CW: Yes, they had a big theme park. AH: —put in a big theme park and was making a similar play for family entertainment and then that failed after a while and it was replaced in the same way. CW: I think Luxor kind of wanted to do that other entertainment thing. Of course, they had Circus Circus, which was built around that at that time. But they rebuilt their whole theme area. I never got it. Figure 8: Pirate ship outside Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. 12 Figure 9: Pirate ship outside of Treasure Island firing its cannons. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. Well, it didn't last very long and probably for the very reason that Paul said, that it kept families away from the gaming tables—or kept parents away from the gaming tables. CW: Well, the same thing with Steve on the show of Treasure Island and the Mirage. We had the volcano shows. Yes, people would come out to see the show, but they wouldn't go back in. I remember talking to him when he did the Wynn. He said, "I'm going have everything turned and they're going to come inside. We're not going to give it away like that because of that thing." I thought it was pretty cool. At that time I didn't have a clue. And Bob Gurr did the ship sinking. It was amazing stuff going on at that time. It was. So can you walk us through sort of how Steve Wynn came to an L.A. firm and an L.A. illustrator to work on a project when he had Joel Bergman and he had his local talent? So he had this in place, but then he came to Jerde. So how does that work? And then how did your involvement with the project evolve from that? PS: Actually, Charlie may know more about the real early contacts because, again, the project 13 had been in the office for a period of time before I was assigned to it. There are some other people that I can give you names of that may have more information on that. Figure 10: Skull Rock outside Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. CW: Yes. Well, the gusy that I worked with directly, personally, were Charlie Pigg and Stan Hathaway. Well, a lot of the people kind of grew as it went along. What happened in my view of it is that I don't think that the project— For Jerde Partnership, I don't think that I remember here at the early stages that was really gung-ho about it. It kind of picked up later on. So I didn't know where to be with it, because I was kind of new on the block in this kind of world. So we kind of kept going and we did a drawing about fifteen feet long of a village. 14 Figure 11: Panoramic view of the exterior of Treasure Island. Courtesy of Charlie White. And Jon Jerde had not even seen this drawing, the whole village. I was sitting there with Steve Wynn and he walked down there. Everything he said had nothing to do with what we did. He walked away and Steve said, "Great, let's do it." I just said, "Whoa, is that good or not?" But it sort of evolved because nobody knew if it was going to continue on. It was day by day really for a long time. Then we just kind of kept moving on over there. So we're next door. So it was pretty easy to do. We did some mass modeling and did the modeling. It was just kind of a growing process. But a lot of times we didn't know where the truth would be with it. We were just kind of just doing day to day and we were having a good time. So we kept going ahead. AH: And you were with...OLIO is your firm, right? CW: Yes. AH: And you were responsible for these exterior elements, the pirate village, and the water, and the ships, and then also the free-standing sign. CW: Right. 15 AH: Was that the extent of your work? CW: No. We did some interior work, too. We did some stuff in there, pieces and parts. So we did some chandeliers—skeleton chandeliers with gold in the bar, and that came from—my wife found in Europe. They had these bones made of chandeliers. I thought it would be really cool to Figure 12: Village outside of Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. make them and make them out of gold. It came out pretty neat. So we had pieces and parts of little things, the little village inside when you walked into that main entrance.PS: It was more areas where there was sort of a literal continuation of the pirate theme, so at the porte cochére and some other areas; otherwise, Roger Thomas did the bulk of the interior work. CW: Right. It was great, by the way. PS: But it was just sort of a sprinkling of things that kept the theme. My sense is also at the beginning, nobody knew what the front of the hotel was going to look like, because it had to 16 Figure 13: Interior of the entrance to Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. respond to the show. And it was only at whatever point the show was set that I think you could start to configure the water to hide the British frigate, to have it come around the bay. I remember being in one meeting; they were talking about the cost of the sinking ship. Somebody said, "Twenty million dollars." And Kenny said, "Can't afford that. How much if it just lists?" [All laughing] CW: That was amazing. Wynn wanted—because I had to design the ships, and I had the sterns and the sterns are really kind of [Indiscernible at 22:36] with all the ships. And so the British ship, I had the lamps that go on top of a traditional seventeenth-century ship. But Steve wanted the thing to really sink. Not just to list? CW: Not just to list. He wanted that thing to go down out of sight. Bob Gurr was an engineer 17 Figure 14: Panoramic photograph of the pirate ship outside of Treasure Island. Courtesy of Charlie White. from Disney who was fantastic and he figured out how to lower that ship and bring it back up. AH: And Bob Gurr, he's the same guy who designed the cars for Autopia at Disneyland and many of the other vehicles for Disney attractions. CW: Yes. He was extraordinary. AH: And he did the pirate ship. CW: Yes. I thought he was just fabulous. But I didn't get rid of my lamps [Indiscernible at 23:37]. I think that's pretty amazing that he had that kind of like this is going to happen kind of an attitude; whatever I want to happen, it's going to happen. Even if it costs twenty dollars. CW: Even if it costs twenty dollars, yes. So who won on that? Was it just the spectacular appeal of the ship sinking or the cost? CW: Well, Steve is a show guy. He's all about show. So he—through the time when he decided there was going to be a ship sitting there period and then when it was going to move, that the ship was going to move—he kind of orchestrated the whole show. And I worked on his show with him outside, like costumes and the set dress and stuff and all that stuff. But it was his show. 18 So did you do the costuming of the valet and the people who worked at the entry? CW: No, I didn't do that part, because I only did the costuming for the show. And that was a trip for me. I got to meet costume designers. I remember it turned out pretty cool. AH: So was the idea of this "show on the Strip," is it an original idea for Treasure Island, and it was Steve Wynn's idea? And that was kind of the set thing that was going to happen and everything else? CW: Oh, yes. Yes, that was from the get-go. So that drove the whole design of...? CW: Well, the first stuff we did, there was no water in front. It was kind of an island. Then, of course, there had to be water in there. And then how much water can we use, and that kind of thing. But as it kind of evolved, it just kind of took on its own life, and Steve was driving all that, how the show [would work]. And then we had to do pyrotechnics on that building over there, which made me so angry, because it burnt my ship up. I had kind of gotten personal to the ships I worked on. PS: Oh, and the facade of the building got all singed. They kept increasing the amount of the pyrotechnics of it. CW: It was amazing. There was nothing like it. It will never happen again. But it was really that he was the driving force and we wanted to please the guy. And in terms of, hey, go for it. It was like, hey, cool. PS: Very early on the site was viewed as it could have been an expansion to the Mirage. Steve always wanted to link the two properties, which was why they had the tram put in. Oh, I had forgotten about that. Wasn't there something in between, though, that was a problem? Wasn't there another 19 building there or something? CW: I don't remember. Oh, there was a woman that wouldn't sell. Wouldn't sell her property or something. CW: Oh, then that was really early, I guess, because I don't remember that. No, I think when we got involved in that deal he had the property and he wanted to really show up the Mirage and TI to Caesars. 26:54 Caesars was [the main competition]. And then the Luxor came on as our big competition as to who gets there first, Luxor or Treasure Island. And Steve was enjoying the heck out of it when [Luxor] had a real problem with the pyramid. Oh, I bet. CW: It started to sink and all that stuff. And Steve was loving that, because it gave more time for him to finish his project. I love these stories. These are great. So anything else from your memories about the TI that you'd like to share? PS: Well, it was interesting, because as architects, we're used to producing drawings for construction. But because of what we were doing, it really wasn't construction drawings; it was more illustrations, showing specialty people the design intent. And at the time, Disney had a slowdown, and we hired about fifteen people that—basically, they were doing illustrations of the village and all of the detail elements that would go to a specialty fabricator who would figure out how to build it. So it was very different for me. CW: Yes, both of us. Yes, I had never done that either. I remember [Indiscernible at 28:16; a couple] who used to work for me. He was one of the original designers of the village that we presented. She was from theater. Well, I didn't have a clue, and so I hired her to kind of work 20 through that stuff with Jerde. We would come over there to work with Jerde. We were pretty tight at that time to come and go, because we had the opportunity to [focus just on that job]. That was our only job. So we could pay a hundred percent attention. Well, Jerde Partnership had a gazillion things going on at the same time, also. So we were able to nurture that thing. It was interesting, the relationship, because I did not know about architecture, and they were relying on what I was doing. So it was a big learning curve there for both parties. Now, do you all still have the drawings that you produced back then? PS: I'd have to look for them in storage. CW: Oh, yes, I have several. I've quite a few out there. I have a slide of all of them because we did at my studio a painting of every building in the village. So are you ready for those to be archived at UNLV? CW: Well, we didn't get the originals back. I've got slides of that. I have...Yes, those kind of things. PS: This is an example of the kind of drawing that was produced, not really a construction drawing, but more of a design intent. AH: Well, this is interesting, this time period. Theme architecture became kind of wide spread. But can you talk a little bit about how that process...when we talk about doing these kind of conceptual drawings and then you gave them to a specific subcontractor, who actually had to make them real—were there shop drawings, then, of the real thing that you saw and had to approve to make sure it was in keeping? How did that go? CW: Well, very sloppy, to be honest with you. There's a company called Lexington, who did a lot of the buildings on the project that were small buildings, and I had a tough go with those guys to get quality that we wanted. 21 AH: So you had to go back to them and...? CW: Well, that happened, yes. Because what Paul was saying, I was there on site and they were stuccoing the buildings and it looked like marshmallows. I said, "Look, you guys." So I got their team together and I said, "Look, there's stone underneath that and there's stucco over the stone. So the texture..." So the guys that we were working with, see, weren't really professionals, Disney has professionals. These were just tradesmen. Then I had a friend of mine, Jay Fisher, and his group, did the scenic painting. [Indiscernible at 31:32] AH: Disney’s craft was the standard. There's a construction photo. Were there any details there that you can explain to her as hard, difficult, or...? PS: For very decorative things there would be more definitive drawings. But a lot of things like the character and the glass around the building, you really needed to have people on site acting as an art director. [Indiscernible at 32:10: all speaking at once] [Ed. note: Arte Contreras was an art director CW: Yes, because I was down there like three days, four days a week. They had a person that they got, a really neat gal—I can't remember her name, off hand—that they got from Universal Studios to come in and art direct. So we were both art directors. But that was a challenge for both. It was really a challenge because...There were some things made that were really beautiful, but as far as the construction part, it was really difficult, because they just didn't get it. So we were trying to get them to understand the vision. My intent was to make it look as real as possible and not so cartoony. It didn't come out really cartoony, but it had a certain flair. And I miss the wonderful people and the ships. That was quite a journey. This guy named Martin Snead had a team from England that did the sculpture from that day on until I quit doing this stuff. He came in there. I remember talking to him. He was from England. He said something to 22 Figure 15: Treasure chest on the exterior of Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki me about foam." I said, "You've got to be kidding me. Foam?" My vision of foam is really like not so good. So anyway, they came in and they started doing the work, and I was just paranoid as heck. So I go down there and over-art direct these poor guys, and these guys are real professional sculptors from France. They were heavy duty. Here this smartass kid was sitting there—not kid, but a guy—telling them how to do it. Anyway, when I finally figured out to back off on that, the stuff got beautiful. And if I had been that involved in, it would have never got done because I had been doing clay and casting. PS: The other thing about the pirate village is it had so much detail; if you look at it compared to Main Street Disneyland, Main Street looks plain. A lot of the design characters, all the little artifacts that were based on the story line. It was the booty that the pirates had gotten and brought back to their village, and it was just placed all over. CW: Right. Well, the concept was that pirates are all over the world. I remember a funny little 23 side note early on. I was up there drawing. And I had been to Disneyland because they had that beautiful tree there, the Swiss Family Robinson tree. For years I was amazed by that. So I was hoping to pick up a lot of that for the village. So I thought let's do a big old tree and just make the pirates from the seventeenth century to now. So I had a fuselage of an airplane, and I had bumpers from cars, and all kinds of— But I was going to make it pirates from all over. Just go for it. So that was kind of a fun deal. AH: One aspect of it also, which I think— You talk about [Treasure Island] as a sign, but it was a sign that could be inhabited. There was a restaurant in there so that people could be dining in the middle of this pirate village. So it literally connected to the interior functions of the hotel. How did that evolve? Figure 16: Photograph of a restaurant inside Treasure Island. Courtesy of Paul Senzaki. CW: Well, Steve Wynn wanted a restaurant there. The thing to me personally what happened is that we had the buildings basically one story—or maybe a fake story—originally. So what 24 happened is it kept going on