PITTSBURGH (KDKA)– It will be an historic day in Pittsburgh that has been a long time coming.
Tomorrow marks the first step to make more out of the land at the former Civic Arena site than just a parking lot.
When the Mellon arena tumbled down, it was the end of many things, an era, history, and years of disappointment.
The Civic Arena, built in 1958 was supposed to shepherd in a new phase in Pittsburgh history.
While it did, it also brought with it a lot more.
Sala Udin of the Hill District said, “60 years ago this year my family and so many other families were removed from the lower hill district in order for them to demolish the entire 95 acre site.”
For many the Civic Arena didn’t live up to its promises, creating for some a sense of isolation for parts of a community that at one time had been a thriving community.
Kevin Acklin, part of the Mayor’s executive team said, “I’d say more than disconnected. It’s been segregated from the city. It’s been sort of the sins of redevelopment of the last century.”
Tomorrow is the first step of what many believe will change that history.
Ground breaking is set to take place and grid work will be laid to extend Wylie, Webster and Bedford Avenues to once again connect them to the downtown corridor.
Getting the streets back is just the beginning.
The old arena site will become home to U.S. Steel’s corporate headquarters.
The final look for the building could be approved as early as Thursday.
Governor Tom Wolf will be at the groundbreaking with other elected officials and community leaders because the goal is to see this area now become a gateway tying together two communities – downtown and the hill district – with histories that are intertwined.