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Civic Arena falling down

Civic Arena{jathumbnail off}

Sad day in the arena world: Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena, one of the most unique facilities ever built, is being demolished after an appeals court refused to preserve iconic the structure.

Demolition began this morning at 6 a.m., with a backhoe taking down the concrete interior of the arena. There will not be any grand fireworks when the structure comes completely down; instead, the arena will be taken down piece by piece.

On Friday a two-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion by Preserve Pittsburgh to issue an emergency injunction blocking demolition of facility. The 28-acre site is slated for development, with the Pittsburgh Penguins owning the rights.

Original plans for Civic Arena

Civic Arena opened in 1961 and was instantly the most advanced arena ever built, complete with a retractable roof and a cutting-edge design that served opera patrons and hockey fans equally well. Virtually every big name in Pittsburgh history since the 1950s — including Edgar Kaufmann, the department-store magnate who commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design Fallingwater — was involved in the planning of the arena. has a nice history of the facility.

RELATED STORIES: Pittsburgh chooses to tear down Igloo, drawing lawsuit; Civic Arena demolition authorized; preservationists step in to delay


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