The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City used to tower over the multiple entities that Trump Entertainment Resorts ran along the boardwalk including the former Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Castle, Trump’s World Fair, and the former Trump Marina. The Trump Plaza, which opened in 1984 as Harrah’s at Trump Plaza, closed in 2014 after years of financial struggle including a narrowly averted bankruptcy and competition from the Trump Taj Mahal. Now, as reported by the publication Jersey Digs, the Trump Plaza will be “imploded” on January 29, 2021 a little more than a week after the next U.S. Presidential inauguration.
A month before the Trump Plaza’s closure in 2014, Donald Trump sued Trump Entertainment Resorts, which he no longer controlled so that his name could be removed from the Trump Plaza and the Taj Mahal. He claimed the properties had fallen into disrepair, which violated the terms of the licensing deal. Trump Entertainment Resorts became a subsidiary of ICahn Enterprises, who remains the owner of the Trump Plaza property.
Plans to demolish the Trump Plaza began in 2017, with the deterioration of the building becoming a public safety issue. Water damage was causing pieces of the 39-story, 906-room hotel to fall to the street and boardwalk. The funding, estimated at about $14 million, which would come in from the state of New Jersey was not approved in 2017 delaying the project. Earlier this year, Atlantic City officials deemed the Trump Plaza a safety hazard and filed an injunction with the State of New Jersey that the building needed to be taken down as soon as possible.
Last week, Marty Small, the mayor of Atlantic City announced Trump Plaza’s implosion date. According to Jersey Digs, “the mayor’s office says that about eight stories worth of debris will need to be cleaned up following the implosion, work that is expected to run through June 2021. Philadelphia-based Haines & Kibblehouse will be managing the demolition and cleanup.”
Two years ago, we featured the Atlantic City photography of Brian Rose, who launched a Kickstarter campaign to support his new book Atlantic City. The book has a forward by architecture critic Paul Goldberger and shows the incongruous juxtaposition of Atlantic City’s fading and deteriorating fantastical casinos with the socioeconomic decay in adjacent neighborhoods that city officials are anxiously trying to combat. We have highlighted here the photographs Rose captured that include the Trump Plaza taken in 2016 after the Presidential election.
By the end of January 2021, the story of Trump Plaza will have come full circle, from its construction beginning in 1982 to its demolition and implosion. All the other properties that had Trump’s name on it in Atlantic City will have been either demolished or rebranded, something that likely suits Donald Trump just fine. He has long since moved on from Atlantic City.
Next, read about how Fred Trump demolished Steeplechase Park on Coney Island.