It’s worth reading Christopher Hawthorne‘s short essay on Las Vegas’s City Center not because the site has a huge public art budget but because it may end up being–like Hirst’s diamond-and-platinum skull–a lasting monument to an age of excess:
If we now expect every major hotel-casino in Las Vegas to have a theme, the one that applies here isn’t difficult to make out, despite the architects’ collective attempt to scrub the project free of kitsch and historical ornament and coat it with a high-gloss, homogenous and faintly corporate sheen.
CityCenter’s true theme is leverage. Ranking as the largest private development in American history, big enough to fill the tallest building in Los Angeles, the U.S. Bank Tower, roughly a dozen times over, the complex is a palace — a series of connected palaces, actually — for the age of towering debt and easy credit. They should have put Alan Greenspan’s face on the poker chips.
In Las Vegas, One Final Echo of the Boom Years (Culture Monster)