Demolition Of Civic Arena Begins

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Demolition of the former home of the Pittsburgh Penguins began Monday morning.

The Civic Arena played home to the Penguins as well as many concerts, indoor football and circuses since it opened in 1961.

Preservation groups have waged a length battle to save the building for historic purposes. On Friday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied their appeals to halt work.

“We knew out legal case was a longshot but we were hoping it would come through and obviously, it didn’t. Rather than valuing this amazing work of modern architecture from the 1960s and incorporating it into something new and exciting for Pittsburgh, the idea instead is to let’s have a clean site, let’s demolish it and start over yet again,” Preservation Pittsburgh President Scott Leib said.

The Penguins and the city hope to develop the site for retail and housing opportunities.

Demolition began at 6 a.m., but will not be completed for several months.

Preservation Pittsburgh
Appeals Court Strikes Down Arena Preservationists
Preservationists Launch Last-Ditch Effort To Save Civic Arena
More News on the Civic Arena

More from Ross Guidotti
  • Redmanz

    Thank you Mellon Arean for providing me with so many good memories.

    I wish you could have stayed up but this is the way things went.

    Rest in Pieces mighty Igloo.


  • Cj

    Just like Three Rivers Stadium, we will all forget about it in a few years like it never existed.

  • Linda E

    One of the most original, exciting things to ever happen to Pittsburgh. It should have been preserved.

    • Amanda Diane

      FOR WHAT???? You all whined you needed a new arena…you got…it’s beautiful…what other team gets a new stadium and keeps the old one…yeah prime city real estate…just to let an old building sit and rot because this city can’t let anything go…head across the street and make new memories!!!

      • Jeff Samson

        yes, because the city of pittsburgh needs that space to connect the Hill to the city again, right? they’ll tear down an architechural icon that could have been reused to put up a cookie cutter building that will draw in businesses like…. well, since retail stores are leaving the city instead of being drawn to it I guess it will just be another boarded up building in the Hill.

  • AAA

    “The Civic Arena played home to the Penguins as well as many concerts, indoor football and circuses since it opened in 1961.”
    Don’t forget about the Pittsburgh Spirit, who used to play indoor soccer at the Civic Arena, during the late 70’s to mid 80’s.

  • Mary

    It hasn’t been fully opened since ’93. In ’99 2 sections were opened. It was time consuming to open and it couldn’t be opened if there was more than a 60% chance of rain or the wind was higher than 7mph. It was nice to have, but hasn’t been used in almost 20 years. It’s like showing off your classic car that doesn’t run and can never leave the driveway.

  • Dave

    Don’t mention it was also the arena that had one of the greatest movies of all time filmed in it, Sudden Death.

  • William A. Kerr

    I graduated from Duquesne University in the Civic Arena. It will be missed as part of Pittsburgh.

  • Jeff Reed

    You knew your case was a longshot? Nice…how much money did you waste? Unreal.

  • sms

    perhaps this building has served its purpose and it is time to let go – but more office and retail space is not needed downtown. most of the shopping is gone or downsizing & not many are clamoring for downtown office space.

    what is the concern is somehow tax dollars will go to this white elephant in developing the site & infrastructure….while the pens reap the profits

  • Pensforever

    now all the preservationist can go back to work trying to save out-dated and dialpidated fire stations. C’mon, the place has been a dump for years…the only arena I’ve been in that’s worse is nassau County Coliseum on Long Island and they can’t wait to implode that. Yes great memories, just like Forbes Field, my kindergarten, Froggy’s blah, blah, blah. I just hope they account for all of the 50 pound rats that inhabit the place.

  • pensforever

    Dave – I forgot about Sudden Death I think it won an oscar just like the other classic filmed there – The Fish That saved Pittsburgh! There’s two good reasons to tear it down alone!

  • Regina Staiger

    Down goes the monument to racism and in humanity of the way the land was taken from families on the “Hill”

  • Tax Payer

    This is exactly why I will never spend any money in the city of Pittsburgh. They refuse to preserve anything. I have not been to a Steeler or Pirate game since Three Rivers Stadium was torn down and will now will not attend any Penguin game as well. Should have sent all the teams packing when we had the chance. It’s horrible my tax money went to these teams.

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