Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Jonathan Sparer by Stefani Evans and Claytee White, August 29, 2016







Jonathan “Jon” Sparer of Las Vegas, Nevada, is a retired architect who is active in the local Jewish and LGBTQ communities. He grew up on Long Island, New York, in the hamlet of Woodmere, where his father was an importer. After graduating in Architecture from Ohio State University in 1977 Jon moved to Los Angeles, California, where he worked first with architect Jack Chernoff, then with architect Bob Barnett until 1981, when he accompanied his future wife and college classmate who worked for Martin Stern to Las Vegas. Stern sent her to open a field office to supervise the reconstruction of the MGM Grand after it burned in November 1980. Once in Las Vegas, Jon began working for architect Homer Rissman on Steve Wynn’s future project, The Mirage. Although Jon switched firms, he continued working on The Mirage and other Wynn projects with Marnell Corrao, where he would stay until 2001. Ironically, Jon’s original supervisor at Marnell Corrao was his future husband, architect John R. Klai II; Klai’s subordinate in turn was Jon’s Spring Valley neighbor. After Jon left Marnell in 2001, he became a founding principal architect at YWS Design & Architecture. Although he has retired from full-time architecture, Jon has since designed the Temple for Congregation Ner Tamid (pictured above) and The Center (Las Vegas's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer community center). Jon remains active in the AIA Las Vegas Chapter as the incoming president as well as serving as a board member for Jewish Family Services Agency and The Center.

Digital ID



Jonathan Sparer oral history interview, 2016 August 29. OH-02812. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at

Standardized Rights Statement





i AN INTERVIEW WITH JONATHAN SPARER 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 Build