Spend some time in the Water Street District and you’ll get a good idea of how southern Nevada began. It’s also a good indication of where the city is going. Here’s a brief history of the little town that became a place for big possibilities.
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Water Street is where Henderson began. And that beginning has its roots in World War II.
Founded as a working town for Basic Magnesium, a plant that manufactured munitions for the war effort, Henderson started out as a temporary town-site. When the war was won, half the town left – and the United States War Asset Administration put the site up for sale as surplus property. Fortunately, the state legislature stepped in and purchased the local industrial sites, thus saving the town.
The City of Henderson wasn’t officially incorporated until April 16, 1953. Back then, it totaled about 13 square miles. Now, Henderson has grown to more than 103 square miles. Today the original town blocks making up the Water Street District represent the city’s heart – in every sense of the word.
While the past half-century has marked explosive growth for Henderson, the Water Street District has maintained its original charm. We’re not a place of fast-food chains and five-dollar coffees. But we are a place of genuine character and progressive ideas.
That’s why you’ll find us to be a unique convergence of commerce and art, enterprise and authenticity. The current sensibility of sustainable placemaking in lieu of ever-expanding sub-dividing makes Water Street District a natural fit for new businesses, retailers and residents. We’re walkable. Accessible. Flexible. And that makes us an epicenter of change for Nevada’s second-largest city – literally from the inside out.
The future of the Water Street District takes shape in the here and now. Progressive redevelopment strategies are connecting businesses to residents, residents to culture, and the entire District to visitors from around the region. This interwoven approach is no accident – after all, there’s a reason they call it the “fabric” of a community.
Henderson’s unique history shows that ours is a community that’s in it for the long haul. This forward-looking perspective is the hallmark of the cultural, commercial and community innovations that are defining the new Water Street District. We’re proud of our history, and we’re looking forward to making a lot more of it.