Paul Goldberger Looks at What the Starchitect-Heavy CityCenter Means to Las Vegas

When a new, much-talked about piece of architecture opens, you read about it right away from all the usual critics, gathering up all the details about what it looks like, how it fits into its surroundings, what it says about whatever its trying to say, and some bits and pieces about the architect and why they did what. Once you have all those facts and figures, you wait a couple of months before the New Yorker‘s resident critic, Paul Goldberger, to come in to give you the big picture. So while Las Vegas’ massive new CityCenter development has been open for a few months now and all that initial talk has died down, Goldberger has just filed this great piece for the magazine explaining what it all means. In short, he asks if bringing in a team of internationally-famous architects and designers, like a mall by Daniel Libeskind, interiors by David Rockwell, and sculptures by the likes of Maya Lin and Claes Oldenburg, can help the city move away from its perception as the epicenter of kitsch. We won’t ruin it for you, since you should consider it a treat to read anything the man writes, but the quick synopsis is, “No.” In the end, Goldberger offers, CityCenter falls into all the same trappings that have plagued the land of glitter, traffic and kitsch since near its very inception.