Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza Casino Gets Imploded, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City during implosion

The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now

Have a news story our readers need to see? Submit it here.

3,000 sticks of dynamite imploded the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. 

Boom, baby! There goes former President Trump’s last vestige—and with it, his legacy—in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shortly after the winning bid in the auction for the right to push the button to detonate the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, the “once-in-a-lifetime experience” was canceled by the building’s owner, a subsidiary controlled by a company run by Carl C. Icahn, a billionaire investor who supported Trump. The $175,000 profit would have gone to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City. 

Still, the show went on, albeit with $10 front-row seats from a lot recently used as a pandemic food distribution site. Onlookers in cars witnessed the symbolic finale of Trump’s casino empire less than one month after its former owner lost his bid for re-election and became the first president to be impeached twice. The implosion lasted only seconds and created a pile of rubble estimated to be 70 to 80 feet high, which city officials hope to clear by summertime. 

The French government abandons plans to build a new terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport. 

Charles de Gaulle airport, which first opened in 1974, is the world’s second busiest airport after London’s Heathrow, with more than 76 million passengers passing through in 2019 alone. A fourth terminal would have allowed the Parisian hub to accommodate more than 40 million extra passengers annually. In order to reach carbon emission targets, however, France has issued new regulating policies that require its airports to develop plans for electric and hydrogen-fueled planes. Lest we not forget the coronavirus, which has stifled air travel to a mere quarter of pre-pandemic levels. All things considered, ecology minister Barbara Pompili has now deemed the fourth terminal “obsolete.” 

Artcurial will auction 600 items that belonged to late fashion designer Kenzo Takada.

Kenzo Takada embraced an eclectic, joyful aesthetic in every aspect of his life, but nowhere was this more evident than the late fashion designer’s apartment in Paris. He spent more than 50 years collecting pieces for his home, and on May 11, Artcurial will host an auction of his personal trove. The items up for grabs span decorative objects and furniture, as well as sculptures, paintings, and other artworks found on his extensive travels. Highlights include a hinoki-wood horse from the Han period, exquisite Baccarat chandeliers, a Pleyel grand piano, and Japanese stoneware, as well as pieces of his own design. “Kenzo said that his ideal interior was one where comfort invites you to stay at home,” says auctioneer Stéphane Aubert. “His home combined the beauty of east and west, with a broad interest in other cultures.

The Spiral by Bjarke Ingels Group in New York

Bjarke Ingels Group’s latest skyscraper, The Spiral, has topped out in Hudson Yards.

Bjarke Ingels Group has shed more light on The Spiral, its forthcoming skyscraper in Hudson Yards, New York, that will be home to the American biopharmaceutical corporation Pfizer, one of the companies leading the charge on the coronavirus vaccine. Occupying an entire block, where the High Line meets Bella Abzug Park, The Spiral’s facade will feature landscaped terraces in a stepped design. “The Spiral represents the ideal collaborative workspace, now more important than ever, combining sustainable design with an elevated hospitality experience,” says Rob Speyer of Tishman Speyer, the development company behind the project. “The continued rise of The Spiral is a testament to our vision and optimism for New York City’s future.”

The Empire State Building is offsetting its energy use in an ambitious wind power deal.

Did you know the Empire State Building has been quietly offsetting its energy use with investments in renewable energy? Yes, the beloved Art Deco skyscraper uses energy from the power grid, but it offsets it by purchasing an equal amount of power from Green Mountain Energy. Now, the Empire State Realty Trust is expanding those green offsets to its other buildings in an ambitious new energy deal. 

“We have purchased renewable power from Green Mountain Energy for the World’s Most Famous Building, the Empire State Building, for a decade. We now expand that to all properties in New York State with an additional Direct Energy contract for our Connecticut properties. We continue to advance our commitment to solutions that reduce our environmental impact. Our tenants now work in carbon neutral offices and the investment community can recognize our leadership,” says Dana Robbins Schneider of the Empire State Realty Trust. 

NO MAS—Irreversible Entanglements (2020) by Imani Dennison

A new show at MoCA Cleveland calls out the museum’s consistent anti-Black practices.

Art museums nationwide have been called to account for their racist histories, including being staffed overwhelmingly by white people while neglecting the work of Black artists. MoCA Cleveland found itself at the center of such controversy this past summer after canceling an exhibition of works by the Afro-Latin artist Shaun Leonardo that depicted police brutality. Now, the museum is working to rectify its troubled past with a wide-ranging exhibition opening this week organized by LaTanya Autry, a curator-in-residence and co-organizer of the Museums Are Not Neutral advocacy group. 

“Imagine Otherwise,” which takes place at MoCA Cleveland as well as the local Black-led spaces Third Space Action Lab and the Museum of Creative Human Art, spotlights the work of four artists: Imani Dennison, Amber N. Ford, Shikeith, and Antwoine Washington. The museum’s own description points an accusing finger at itself: “Autry envisions possibilities beyond MoCA Cleveland’s consistent anti-Black practices by partnering with Black-led and centered organizations that regularly care for Black residents and others while challenged with far smaller budgets than many area white-led and centered art institutions.” It goes on to describe the show as a “limited, yet hopefully, significant prodding for an authentic, community-led institutional reckoning of MoCA Cleveland.”

Adidas plans to sell the underperforming Reebok to focus on growing its own brand.

As part of a strategic overhaul, Adidas plans to divest from the U.S. fitness brand Reebok following a review of the business announced in late 2020. “Reebok and Adidas will be able to significantly better realize their growth potential independently of each other,” Kasper Rorsted, CEO of Adidas, said in a statement. “We will work diligently in the coming months to ensure a successful future for the Reebok brand and the team behind it.” Adidas acquired Reebok for $3.8 billion in 2006 to better compete with Nike, but the brand recently underperformed and lost its market share—it now accounts for a mere seven percent of Adidas’s sales compared to 18 percent in 2010. The announcement comes shortly after Reebok appointed Pyer Moss founder Kerby Jean-Raymond as creative director to instill “a sense of social purpose” in the brand.

The Takashi Murakami room at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo

Today’s attractive distractions:

This black metal musician fashioned a guitar using his dead uncle’s skeleton.

Archaeologists unearth the world’s oldest “industrial-scale” brewery in Egypt.

Netflix introduces an anime scholarship taught and designed by Studio Ghibli.

Would you pay $4,250 to stay in a hotel room dedicated to Takashi Murakami?

All Stories