Civic Arena Is Coming Down…

Fri, Sep 17, 2010

Pittsburgh Events

Civic Arena Is Coming Down…

Yesterday, Pittsburgh’s Sports and Exhibition Authority voted unanimously to demolish the Civic Arena.  It’s a sad day for history nostalgia nuts and sports fans alike.  The Beatles and a slew of other historical rock acts played there, the Penguins raised three Stanley Cup banners there.  A place with so much history, and we’re going to tear it down just like that?  Absolutely, and I’m actually in favor of it being removed.

I understand the value of the building and what it’s worth in terms of historic content, but I’m a realist, especially with the CEC placed directly across from it.  The CEC is vastly superior in terms of technology, accommodations, and pure enjoyment.  I know I know, but we can still use the Civic for special concerts and the like!  Why?  Most world famous acts wouldn’t even stop here to play at the Civic in the first place.  Numerous times Pittsburgh has missed out on great arena shows because nobody wanted to put up with the cramped space and old technology.  We can’t even do opera shows anymore because we have other theaters around the area that are much better suited for that type of performance.

Also, they can’t even open up the roof at the Civic, the engines were removed some time ago and the roof is permanently closed.  The Civic Arena simply isn’t needed, but I can still understand why people would get upset about it, but it’s literally going to sit there and rot if kept standing, potentially keeping more people out of jobs from future business development.  I don’t know, I’m ready to accept that it’s an old building, and I can let it go.  It’s the memories that will last forever in my mind.

About a dozen people spoke out prior to the vote, and tempers flared. However, the SEA made the decision based on a nine-month study on the feasibility of reusing the arena.“As a result of these efforts, the consultants working on behalf of the SEA have concluded that the challenges due to the building’s size and placement, along with the building’s age and design, overwhelmingly inhibit an effective development plan,” said Christian Cielsak of Chronicle Consulting.

Sounds about right.  Of course however, there were people that were upset by this decision, and felt they didn’t get a fair say.  Let’s ee what happened with that side:

The public had one last opportunity to speak about the fate of the arena. All but one person wanted to preserve the 49-year-old unique structure that is eligible for listing on the national register of historic places.“I really think that the public needs more information and to be more involved in the process,” said Pittsburgh resident Jason Harris.

“We’re always looking for ways to make Pittsburgh distinctive and unique and attractive to people from outside the city, and I think this is one of them, and we don’t want to lose it,” said popular Pittsburgh personality Rick Cebak.

I can’t ever doubt what Rick Cebak has to say, but for this one time, I disagree.  We already know this town is distinctive, the Civic wouldn’t have to stay to distinguish anything.  People know who were are and what this town is about, we don’t have to prove anything to anyone.

I won’t even include the quote from the person who called one of the board members a “gestapo.”  It’s unnecessary and ignorant to even say that let alone when we’re talking about a 49 year old building.

That being said, all things good or bad do come to an end.  How do you feel about this issue?

Quotes taken from:


I was just alerted by fellow twitter friend @PensBoozeAnger about his possible idea on a great way to celebrate the Civic/Mellon Arena inside the CEC.

He directed me towards thePensBlog to read an article they posted, and wants me to get the word out as well, so I’m putting it here.

He’s suggesting that we etch this iamge into the windows of CEC at this exact vantage point.

Etch this image into these windows of the CEC

Etch this image into these windows of the CEC

I’m thinking this idea is awesome, and everyone needs to know about it.  It’s a perfect/unique way of celebrating the history even while tearing the old girl down.  I wonder how we can get a movement started for this?!

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