Harmon Hotel demolition gets green light…

Protracted battle ends as city gives go ahead to demolish Las Vegas folly.

Foster + Partners’ Harmon Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is being razed without ever opening. Owner MGM Resorts International received court approval on April 22 to demolish the unfinished 27-floor, oval-shaped tower following a protracted legal battle with its contractor, Tutor Perini Corp., over building defects. The Harmon once figured prominently in the $8.5 billion CityCenter hotel-casino-entertainment complex that opened in December 2009. Today, it stands empty and half-built, its facade serving as a makeshift billboard.

“CityCenter consulted with experts about the fastest and safest way to resolve public safety concerns created by the structural defect issues at the Harmon,” said MGM spokesman Gordon Absher in a statement. “Based on their expert advice, CityCenter is recommending that the structure be demolished.”

The Harmon will be dismantled piecemeal, floor-by-floor, over the next year. Demolition will cost $11.5 million, with work starting this summer. A Foster + Partners spokeswoman declined to comment for this article. And the Harmon has been removed from the firm’s list of projects on its website. (New York-based AAI Architects Inc. was architect-of-record, with the Las Vegas office of Halcrow as structural engineer.)

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