Historic Review Commission Votes Down Arena As Landmark

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The fate of the Civic Arena went before Pittsburgh’s Historic Review Commission today.

In a setback for people looking to save the old building, the panel voted not to designate it as being a historic landmark.

The Sports and Exhibition Authority wants to demolish the building to make way for new development.

The authority agreed unanimously during a vote at their monthly board meeting back in September to demolish the arena.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have development rights at the site.

However, local preservationists want to save the building for re-use.

The historic landmark designation proposal must also go before the City Planning Commission and City Council.

Historic Review Commission
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Planning Commission Votes To Tear Down Arena
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One Comment

  1. Why? says:

    Ok, I know, I know. “It’s old, we have the Consol, it costs money” blah blah blah. Well, not every organization that needs a venue can afford the new Consol. What development are you going to add? More office/retail space to the growing number of unused space all over the city? There are SO many unused buildings, which was even just reported here on KDKA af ew weeks ago, why build more? You already destroyed the Ft Pitt historical sites to make room for your drinking during events at the Point, why take this too? Isn’t there someone that can purchase this building and turn it in to a venue for smaller concerts, battle of the bands, roller derby games, kids sports games, etc, etc, etc?

  2. jim says:

    Really, what do you expect? it is a shame to lose this beautiful one of a kind building. The new arena is UGLY! YUK.!

  3. Tad says:

    Unless someone can present a realistic, sustainable and financially feasible plan for re-use, it makes no sense to transfer the holding costs to taxpayers.

    1. Mitch says:

      Tad, competing venues is one idea. Competition would drive down the cost to promoters and increase profits.but greedy Mario wouldn’t have it.

      The SEA should have put out an RFP awarding $1 million for a viable re-use proposal. That’s a lot cheaper than demolition and redevelopment costs.

      The SEA holding cost report was bogus with inflated and bogus expenses. You and others bought into that lie. Check it out on the SEA’s website.

      The historic review the SEA and HRC were a ruse. The 2007 Term Sheet agreed to demolition and there’s a lot more than what the media is letting you know.

      I’ll share some inside information for those interested.


  4. Lois says:

    What a shame to lose this beautiful, unique, HISTORIC building!!!! Yes I said “HISTORIC” for what more unused space? RIDICULOUS!!!!! I guess what the people want don’t count anymore!!!! What’s the matter with using this arena for the new arena football games. It could be there stadium…no wait a minute why not build a new one for them too!!!!

    1. Mitch says:


      I can’t agree with you more. The state approved historic preservation in 2001, making the CIvic Arena eligible for a listing on the National Registry.

      That was ignored and Governor Rendell cut a dirty deal in 2007 that funded the new Consol Energy Center and agreed to demolish the Civic Arena and pave it into a parking lot. All the parking revenue was then turned over to the Pgh Penguins.

      The media failed to report that while the Civic Arena was under a historic review, no demolition could take place. Demolition from the inside started in early November and hte SEA and Penguins are profiting by it. They did so wihtout a city demolition permit.


  5. Steel City Artist says:

    Some things are better left as a memory. Things can be done to still preserve the past while moving forward. They should save part of the black archway over the arena as a testament to the steel industry since steel used to build the arena was forged regionally. Second, melt down part of the aluminum roof towards casting a statue of Mario Lemieux to place at entrance of Consol Energy Ctr.

  6. Mark says:

    So many people are after the buck that they will lose a real landmark. But who benefits. Tax payers will get nothing if the grand structure is torn down. They would have to pay for up keep if it stays, but it could earn some of its own revenue. The Penguins want the site for their own benefit, no win for the public there. It is a landmark even if the board cannot see it and they are powerless to save anything, consider the Syrian Mosque. It should be saved as an unique structure, and the oldest NHL hockey site in North American.

    1. NOO says:

      Ok, but it’s ok for my tax money to go to Welfare receipiants that don’t need even need it! Sort through the people on Welfare and see how many are dressed well, driving SUVs, and carrying around iPhones!

  7. Sean says:

    Why tear this building down? Many reasons. It creates visual and social disconnection between the Hill District and Downtown Pittsburgh. For some (including me), this building brings many memories of great hockey throughout my lifetime. For the Hill District, this brings memories of Urban Renewal, where both housing and culture was lost. Also, it is too large and upkeep is too expensive to hold a team that doesn’t bring in revenue like the Penguins or Steelers. Lastly, we don’t even know what the city’s plan for the area is. Here is their chance to make a statement to the Hill District residents saying “We want this land to benefit you as well.” Remember, the owner of the land is Mario Lemieux, a person who values quality of life beyond monetary value. This is a man we can put our trust in, so why don’t we? Let’s not overreact before they decide what will be built here.

    1. Noo says:

      When people in the Hill District stop acting like trash then I’ll care if they are disconnected from the city.

      1. Sean says:

        We created the disconnect when we built the arena. The result of the disconnect was blight and urban decline. Studies have shown a connection between blight, urban decline, and a lack of caring toward the situation (due to the feeling, and general truth, that a city will divert funds and resources away from the blighted area). City Planners must created the problem and are responsible for fixing it. Their job is to work for the benefit of the people, regardless of how bad the feeling of despair may be.

      2. Shockly says:

        So, if the gov’t don’t care then it’s okay for people to let everything go to the dogs and give up? Whatever happened to self respect and self reliance.

      3. Yup says:

        I don’t see why the people in the Hill District can’t be responsible for fixing their own neighborhood? What does the city have to do with anything? Ok, so they cleared some homes to build the arena in the 60s, doesn’t mean they have to turn the neighborhood into ghetto trash. They can still be respectible, drug-free, violence-free people, but they CHOOSE NOT to be. Has nothing to do with whether or not the Arena stays.

  8. Ryan says:


  9. Gary says:

    I tried posting a longer, more informative post.

    For those that want to know the truth and how dirty this deal was, send me an email.

    Gary J. English

  10. Alexis says:

    I cannot believe the Pens want to tear down the building. It is historical in many ways like its the oldest building still standing that had hockey played at it or how it is made from true AMERICAN, PITTSBURGH steel where else would you find a building that is both american,pittsburgh made, and truly beautiful building like the Mellon. The only thing the Pens markets want is MONEYYYY! that is the only reason they want the Mellon down. We can only hope and pray our state delegates want to keep it up. One more thing would you rather have apartments and more office buildins or a truly memorable,beautiful site lke the Mellon. Love you Mellon

    1. Shockly says:

      Yes, tear it down and move on.

  11. paul j ardisson says:

    this is what happens when u let a person mario lemieux, who walked out on the pens in 84 when he was dafted, he refused to go get his pens jersey when eddie johnston picked him. and allways kicking head coach scotty bowman out of practice in the 91-92 season cause he was to hard on the players. .and then mario wanted a new arena when there was nothing wrong with the civic arena, and now the pens have a new arena they want to tear down the civic arena, its all mario fault, he didnt care about the pens in 84 and still dint care in 91-92 season and now he really dosent care cause if it wasnt for him the pens would still be at the arena and everyone would still be happy

  12. will g says:

    this is a major city not some small town where history makes it unique. tear it down and put something that would be attricative to new business there. look at las vegas. they don’t let old buildings stand in the way of progress

  13. Jamie Miller says:

    Now this may be just me, but I will miss the arena lots. That’s a lot of parking to loose for pens games! They better put up at least a few large garages in that spot and have them up by the next hockey season.

Comments are closed.

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