August 16, 2016

Early Tuesday morning, the second tower of the more than 60-year-old Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was demolished in a controlled implosion.

With more than 2,000 rooms and 24 stories, the Riviera was Las Vegas’ first high-rise, built in 1955. The iconic building was destroyed to make way for a $42-million expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Associated Press reported.

The Riviera has played host to some of the most memorable characters in history and film, serving as a stomping ground for everyone from Danny Ocean (played by Frank Sinatra), to James Bond to Liberace.

Known colloquially as “the Riv,” the hotel and casino was also well-known for its connection to the mafia and is rumored to be the location of several mob murders.

In its heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s, actress Joan Crawford could be seen relaxing by the pool with her family while Harry Belafonte crooned onstage. Country star Dolly Parton notoriously raked in $350,000 a week while performing at the Riviera.

“This is like history right here,” Dan Teson told the Las Vegas Sun, adding, “It’s got weird architecture compared to everything else on the Strip.”

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