Planning Commission Votes To Tear Down Arena

By Kym Gable

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh’s planning commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve demolition of the Civic Arena.

But shortly after the vote, Hill District resident Eloise McDonald nominated the building for historic status.

The move gives preservationists more time to work with developers.

Preservation Pittsburgh president Scott Leib told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “And that’s our whole issue with this process is that it really didn’t afford for any public input and now we look like obstructionists because we’re trying to get our fair share, our day in court if you will, about the building and reuse of the building.”

The Penguins have development rights at the arena site. The historic application now goes before the Historic Review Commission.

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One Comment

  1. Ryan says:

    Blow it up!

    1. Midway says:

      now the movie “Sudden Death” will be a Pgh classic

  2. Rick says:

    Does it fly? If so, fly it to the moon

  3. Chrysm says:

    Listen to Reuse the Igloo… so much could be done with the structure with little repair investment involved. It will cost more to destroy it than it will to leave it there anyway.

    Your tax dollars already paid for the building. Do you want more of your tax dollars spent to knock it down for MORE parking?

    “They paved Paradise, and put up a parking lot.”

    Designate it historic and use it as something like a Bio-Dome (internal environmentally controlled biosphere). I’m sure local universities certainly wouldn’t mind taking a look into renting the space for research and such. The facility itself could be used to create an artificial rainforest climate for study and/or botanical cultivation of flowers and plants for medical research.

    That’s just one option, of course. Why keep tearing down these historic structures to build cheap, mostly plastic replicas? Look to historic cities like Paris and London for inspiration. Pittsburgh needs another parking lot like it needs the ash cloud from the 20’s.



  4. Jeffrey verzi says:

    Its time to move on use the space for one more green space or sell it to pitt for a football feild so they have there own place to play in

  5. Karen says:

    Keep the CIVIC ARENA, the steel used to build this one and only dome with the one and only retractable roof was from the LOCAL STEEL MILLS not from overseas.Its AMERICAN- its ORIGINAL-its HISTORICAL something our children and grandchildren will never get to see if it is destroyed. We need to keep the Civic Arena. New Orleans kept their dome, because it meant something, we need to keep the Civic Arena it is part of the steel industry that kept this area going for years, its a one and only. Come on people this is OUR TOWN!!!!!!!

  6. Stephen says:

    It is the first retractable roof stadium ever built. How can it not be considered a historic building?

    It should be preserved, but the city will tear it down.

  7. latrobe50 says:

    move it somewhere else. LET THE PPL IN THE HOOD have a place to shop.

  8. Ken says:

    The distinctive feature of the building is the roof. That is what should be saved. Instead of focusing on keeping the whole building there or tearing it all down, let’s have some fresh thinking about where the roof could be moved and used for something else. Didn’t a developer somewhere in the North Hills express interest in using it to cover an outdor shopping area? It would be wonderful to be able to see the roof somewhere, especially to see it open and close again. Unfortunately, we are seeing more all or nothing, rigid thinking in which each side thinks that they have to have it all their way. In the process, something worth saving will be lost. Just because compromise has gone out of fashion in Washinton, do we have to so dug-in and narrow in our thinking and solution to problems here? I thought we were supposed to someplace special.

  9. latrobe50 says:

    it’s to late, say good bye to a landmark in the city….what a shame…

  10. jim says:

    We need to save this very unique building! Come on people wake -up! dont lose something this beautfiul . WE could never build something this like this agiain and we proved it by looking at the new arena. PLAIN UGLY!

  11. al says:

    I Would like it to stay put because it is qa eight wonder of the world , they could use it as a little mall . because we had one over north side . if u tear it down we all ain`t going to any more games

  12. Rob Pfaffmann says:

    “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.

  13. hojore says:

    blow the thing up and put up some more housing projects. keep it real in the hill, yo!! let’s have something else that drains the city coffers, as opposed to businesses that will fill them up.

  14. Karen says:

    this is wrong. The Arena is a one of a kind structure. there is no other building like it in the world. Tearing it down is like tearing down teh Eiffel Tower for scarp meatl or blowing up the Statue of Liberty to keep pigeons from roosting there and spreading avian flu to NYC.
    I am a long time fan of the Penguins but this is wrong and they- especiallly Moorehouse, Burkel & Lemiux should be ashamed for destroying a Pgh landmark. Recycle & reuse teh Arena. Its the only one there is. There are scads of ugly modern office buildings and businesses in Pgh already.

  15. Dan says:

    It would be a big mistake to tear the arena down. It’s architecturally a one of a kind and should be mandated to be used in part or as a whole for a new use. Hotel, sports, mall, etc. There is plenty of existing parking area to turn into a parking garage etc. It’s a historic landmark for Gods sake. The politicians in this town repeatedly make stupid moves just like this all the time as favors to the people that backed them! Some how it never really makes sense to the rest of us! Market the location to various
    organizations and even other countries. There has to be someone that can reuse this location. The Urban redevelopment authority is always donating warehouses and vacant land to the Buncher Group at little or no cost so why not do that here? They can easily turn it into a mixed use empty warehouse like the other locations at least until someone comes up with the right idea! How about a museum for aviation or transportation? A sports museum etc? In today’s dollars we couldn’t afford to rebuild this arena!!
    Wake up Pittsburgh!! You have my vote to keep this historic!!

  16. bruceUSA says:

    Why not leave just the super structure in place? You know the big steel thing that holds the roof in place. Leave it as a historical landmark. Everything else goes away!!

  17. Corrinne says:

    I sort of understand everyone’s “love” of the Civic Arena but think about this, who is going to maintain it? It will very soon (if not already) be used as a drug house, graffitti will cover it, trash and weeds will surround it. We do not have enough police in the city as it is then for them to watch over that building! It will turn out to be an embarrassment to the city.

  18. BJ says:

    i say we keep the arena. i have made so many memories in that arena and it would just kill me to see that arena get torn down. that place is a historic landmark here in pittsburgh. there are many way we can reuse the arena. like an iindoor water park or something come on pittsburgh dont let them demolish it

  19. Don says:

    Bruce and Corrinne have great comments. I love this city, however far too often the citizens of Pittsburgh want to live in the past. Progress and evolution are paramount for Pittsburgh to claim its rightful place on the National Map, even more so than it has. The city had a “hissy” with 3 Rivers, but now they certanly love going to Heinz Field. The city had a “hissy” when they tried to revitalize Market Square, and now look at it. The city had a “hissy” when they said they were building a casino, and now they pull those slots. Yes, all of those progressive moves have BENEFITTED the city. Besides, I think Mario and the organization have done more than asked of them when it comes to PIttsburgh. They saved the Penquins from leaving. The Penquins own the property, who are we to tell them no. Their job is to provide exhibition for the sport of hockey, THATS IT. You buying a ticket doesn’t mean you OWN them. Corrinne is right cause 5 or 10 years down the road when that area is delapidated, we will be screaming bloody murder at them. The point is Pittsburgh has always had issue with change and progress and that is what is keeping this great city from truly realizing its potential.

  20. redrock100 says:


  21. Don says:

    Also, I must say, if you truly believe in saving the Igloo, your going about it the wrong way. Its not right to force the Penquins to to do something. If you really want to give it the National attention it does deserve, you should be lobbying the Smithsonian. Come on people THINK BIG!

  22. #13 The Ranger says:

    It’s fate has been sealed for a long time now, they only went through the motions because they had to. The fix was in when they decided to construct that ugly “Box” for the rich across the steet. Its demolition has been secretly awarded for a large sum to be paid for by the little people. What about the salvage rights? Who has those? All of that metal (stainless, iron, aluminum & copper) would more than pay for the demo. Its a shame the way the politics work around here (and the rest of the nation), the desires of a few against the wish’s of many. Look at 3 Rivers Stadium, we still owe on that, then gave the Roonies land next to their free house to build an ampitheater for almost nothing.

  23. Don says:

    REALLY!?!?!?! Some of the comments on here regarding the African Americans in the city of Pittsburgh is just, well just plain EVIL. YOU PEOPLE are the reason kids are dying in the streets and in homes by their own hands. By the way I am a white guy. I bet you feel so good about yourselves while you sit in church, but if I had my way, YOU all would be lined up on the Blvd in an old fashioned lynching. You really do not deserve to breathe, DISGUSTING!

    1. Shauna says:


  24. Don says:


  25. Alexis says:

    The igloo is a historic landmark how could any of you want to tear it down. I am sure most of you posting these comments have had a good memory about the igloo. I mean sure i agree it will be hard to keep it running but its the citys right to be able to keep up something taxpayers money paid for and its going to take even more to tear it down. The Penguins should also be ashamed beacause that is where they won three stanley cups and lots of records and hat tricks had taken place there as well. Any of you who want some of your memeories gone then go ahead and tear it down but those who want it saved will be rewarded in the end because just maybe it will be saved and you will feel good that you had a say so in some of the landmarks in Pittsburgh

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