An abandoned brothel where visitors can still ‘smell the sex in the air’ is set to be turned into a museum to show people ‘how prostitution was done 40 years ago’.
The Cherry Patch, in Crystal, Nevada, will mark its four decades of decadence by launching a tour of its seedy shower rooms and bedraggled boudoirs.
Opened in the early 1970s, at the time as Nevada became the only state to legalize brothels, it’s been in the hands of Denis Hof since 2010.
He decided to close it down so he could funnel trade to his other establishment, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, down the road.
But the Cherry Patch, which when opened was the closest legal brothel to Sin City Las Vegas, will remain as tribute to the so-called ‘oldest trade in the world’.
Mr Hof said, ‘It’s got all the original mattresses and furniture. What we’re trying to do is show people a piece of Nevada history with that brothel.
‘I do have a brothel license there and what I’m going to do is build a whole new brothel next to it.
‘It’s going to be Mabel’s Whore House Bar and Grill. We’re going to have the brothel tour from the inside of it. You can walk through it and see an actual brothel.
‘What it looked like, how it operated. There’ll be history on the walls of all kinds of events. You know the brothel wars in Nye County, thirty years ago.
‘People shooting each other and all that great history. It truly is American history.’
Professional photographer Steven Hirsch took photographs whilst in Nevada working on a project featuring the portraits and first person interviews with prostitutes.
Describing the building, in the middle of scorching desert, as ‘eerie and surreal’, he said it was a ‘maze of wood paneled hallways and small pitch-black rooms with a number on each’.
He added, ‘Tattered sofas line the main rooms where the prostitutes greeted clients and performed the line-up ritual to introduce themselves to the customers that arrive at any given hour.
‘Unlike today’s large, ornate and opulent brothels, the Cherry Patch harks back to another era with its cramped and tacky trailer park motif.
‘Each small room still has its bed, some with sheets and pillows, looking exactly the way it looked years ago when it closed.
‘A cable wire hangs from a shelf that once held a TV set playing porno movies. A bath towel hangs over the shower stall used by a hooker to wash herself after a party.
‘The stark rooms with bare walls have little in them to distract anyone from their intended use.
‘Though closed for years you can still feel the smell and the sweat of sex in the air and the strange sensation that someone is still there.’