It’s been five years now since New Jersey Governor Chris Christie uttered this sentence: “Atlantic City is dying.”
The governor’s 2010 plan to turn Atlantic City, New Jersey into “Las Vegas East”—what was it before?—has failed.
In 2014, four major casinos shuttered, including the Revel Casino Hotel, which was built in part with state money. Three of the casinos declared bankruptcy.
Has the sun finally set on the Boardwalk Empire? Not quite yet. As it stands now, the sea may rise to reclaim it first.
That’s why a prominent global architecture and design firm has a different future in mind for Atlantic City, something far from the realms of tourism and entertainment and yet very close to the heart of the Jersey Shore.
The firm, Perkins+Will, is pitching a plan to make Atlantic City into a research center for climate change and coastal resiliency.
This scheme aims to turn Atlantic City into Defense Post One in the battle to turn back the rising tide. The firm’s brief recommends repurposing the Atlantic City Convention Center as a “civic-scale academy” for training leaders from around the world on resiliency standards, techniques, and doctrine.
“Two things aligned in Atlantic City: its current economic state and its climate vulnerability,” says Daniel Windsor, senior urban designer and senior associate at Perkins+Will.