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.

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