Construction Fail

One of the hotels in Vegas’ Project CityCenter just got a hell of a lot shorter:

What if they had shorted the Empire State Building by a couple of football fields?

Or gave the Great Pyramid a flattop? Or built the Eiffel Platform?

Size certainly isn’t everything when it comes to buildings, of course. But the impact of many iconic structures is in their sheer stature. That is why it’s so startling — disappointing, even — that the Harmon hotel, CityCenter’s gateway to the Las Vegas Strip, has suddenly been cut down to about half its intended size.

Topping out at 28 stories instead of the proposed 49, the incredible shrinking Harmon seems unfortunately fated to look like a stubby, squashed stepchild next to its soaring CityCenter siblings, the 61-story Aria Resort & Casino and the 57-story Vdara condo-hotel.

That is the result of construction flaws — 15 floors of wrongly installed rebar — that forced MGM Mirage, which is developing the project with Dubai World, to rapidly call for a significant reduction of the nongaming boutique hotel. MGM Mirage canceled the Harmon’s 207-unit condominium component — the top half of the building — and postponed the opening of the hotel to late 2010.