Final Public Hearing Held For Civic Arena

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — People both for and against the demolition of the Civic Arena voiced their opinions during a public hearing.

Pittsburgh City Council is expected to vote on Resolution 1611, the historic designation of the arena.

Preservationists marched to the meeting.

“Think about the visitors that come here,” a woman said at the podium. “They would be coming to see a spectacular sight.”

The group, Reuse The Igloo, has a plan with a developer and a tenant.

“If people are familiar with Millennium Park in Chicago or the High Line in New York, these are historic places that have been transformed and create new economic development around them,” Rob Pfaffmann, an architect, said.

Penguins President David Morehouse reminded City Council about this rare opportunity of redevelopment.

“Economic consultants tell us it’s a tremendous location for a mixed-use development featuring residential space as well as office and retail,” he said.

Sala Udin, a former City Councilman and resident of the Hill District, would like to see the arena come down.

“The demolition of my home along with that of 8,000 others in the 1950s and the 1960s began a multi-generational wound,” Udin said. “The redevelopment can begin a healing process.”

City Council will make a final vote, but have not said when they plan to make a decision.

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  • Martha

    this country is all about tearing down old buildings. Look at the beautiful old buildings in Europe. What if they felt this way. The arena was a one of a kind when it was built, and should be preserved.

    • Common Sense

      Wow! Comparing the Arena to European architecture?! Someone’s drinking the Kool-Aid.

  • j

    They should preserve it but they will cave in to the Penguins that DON”T OWN IT!. Again the tax payers of Allegheny County are the REAL owners and should be voted on by them not the city council. Just rememer to vote them all out of office in the next election!.

  • hc

    Sure would have been cool if they had some outdoor Penguin’s games there, but seems there is no vision. It sure would have been cool and the world would have seen what that building can be used for. Been to concerts there where they opened it. It is something that you would never forget, nor would the performers forget. Truly an amazing place that wasn’t used as intended for years. The Consol Energy Center is just some other building. Nothing special. The Civic Arena was great.

  • Knock 'er Down!

    C’mon Pittsburgh,do the right thing for once and knock that ugly thing down….It looks like a giant boil

  • Zoeyzotron

    Get rid of it already! Build something of value, that can help our local economy.

    Ask Philly how much they still like the Spectrum….

  • Whatever

    Concerts were nice there only every time I went there I was approached by a spook or two hitting me up to either rob me or shake me down for money.
    This is the truth downtown is a hole because of these low lives from the hood.
    Either way tear it down build it up I won’t do business there in the extended hill district.

  • The Truth

    Next thing you know ol’ Sala’s gonna be asking for reparations.

    What about MY “multi-generational” wound, Sala? Me and my father attended the Igloo many times together and he’s now no longer with us.

    The difference is that many people will need to start a “healing process” if the Igloo is torn down, whereas no one but Salad cares or remembers the “International House of Udin” that’s been gone for forty years now.

    Majority rules in this case, “councilman.”

    • j


  • Thomas J Duttine

    Hey Sala, get over it!!!

  • jim

    If the “Hill” or Salsa Udin think that they are going to “re-connect” the Hill again they are dreaming!. all that is going in that space will be a huge parking lot!. Our so-called leaders are fast tracking the arena’s demise and will not even listen to ideas on saving it. All you can do is VOTE THEM ALL OUT OF OFFICE on the next election… and let’s not forget the BIG SNOW STORM of 2010.
    They need to preserve one Great Building! They could NEVER afford to build one again like this again and I don’t think this generation would know how unless it came from a reality t.v. show. The new arena is just PLAIN UGLY no thought in the design what so ever. BLAH!

  • me

    It’s going to cost way more to redevelop it than to tear it down. It’s currently an eyesore to the city. For all of you taxpayers who say you “own” it, who do you think is going to pay for the redevelopment? They may have this plan to use it for retail and whatnot but it would cost WAY more just to keep it standing and in no way bring any revenue to the city. If they couldn’t even use it properly when it was in use what makes you think they will use it correctly as a “landmark”? The Spectrum in Philly has 1000x’s more historical significance and they tore it down to make way for the future because they refuse to live in the past. This city is so bent on keeping a deteriorating giant boob that they forget the many other problems they are currently facing like having one of the highest population declines in the country and being one of the most racist cities north of the Mason Dixon Lines

    • j


  • DR

    Need to look at the big picture here: this is a 28 acre site…the displaced Hill District was undoubtedly one of the worst crimes of eminent domain in American history (and there’s no excuse for some the the comments above… suggesting that the displacement of over 8,000 people, coupled with lies of ‘cultural center’ that never came to fruition, should be forgotten? or that it wasn’t a crime? It was a tragedy..nobody in their right mind would support this use of the 28 acres. HOWEVER…This is an extremely unique piece of Modern Architecture that SHOULD be preserved…in some fashion (check out the proposed designs from the ‘civic minded’ design competition..These are awesome. The re-use must serve the city, and the community. IT should be both redeveloped, and at least a piece of the building should be preserved as a ‘necessary ruin’. As our city evolves…do we want to be creative? green? attractive? with narrative and rich history? or do we want to adopt the ‘status quo’ mixed residential/commercial plan…THERE IS ROOM FOR A PIECE OF THIS ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE IN 28 ACRES OF LAND! WHICH NEEDS RE-DEVELOPED, and should incorporate natural elements and green space to tell the world about Pittsburgh’s (continued) environmental progress

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