It's official -- Razing of arena starts Monday
The demolition of the Civic Arena is scheduled to start at 6 a.m. on Monday, but the region will have plenty of time to say goodbye because the building won't be completely gone until May, the executive director of the Sports & Exhibition Authority said Friday.
"It will be a gradual process," Mary Conturo said.
A two-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals removed the last legal obstacle yesterday by refusing to grant Preservation Pittsburgh an emergency injunction to halt the demolition.
Scott Leib, president of the group, said the organization knew its lawsuit was a long shot and won't appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"We're losing one of the most amazing and innovative structures in our city," he said. "It's a sad day."
Travis Williams, the Penguins' senior vice president of business affairs and general counsel, declined to comment on the ruling.
Carl Redwood, executive director of the Hill District Consensus Group, said his group is happy the arena will be torn down.
"It's a symbol of the destruction of our community 55 years ago," he said.
The consensus group, however, is more interested in what will replace the arena and who will pay for it.
"There's a lot of subsidies coming in for the Penguins and not much coming back to the community," Redwood said. "If the public pays for it, there has to be a clear public benefit."
Preservation Pittsburgh sued Conturo and officials with the city, county, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and two federal agencies -- the Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
The organization argued that the demolition violates the National Historic Preservation Act because the SEA is seeking federal money to help pay for the redevelopment of the site.
U.S. District Judge David Cercone agreed with the defendants that there is no federal activity at the site and, therefore, he didn't have jurisdiction over the project. The 3rd Circuit ruling agreed with Cercone in denying the injunction.
Conturo said the authority is "happy that the 3rd Circuit confirmed Judge Cercone's ruling."
She said the first step will be removing the asbestos from the roof. The initial phase probably will take until January.
Doug Straley, project executive of the SEA, said the demolition will start at the top of the roof. The first pieces will be lowered to the arena floor and taken out through the exits. About one-third of the way down, workers will start lowering the pieces over the outside of the dome, he said.
"They're basically going to take it apart," he said.
SEA plans to save at least three pieces of the roof for display -- one in the Heinz History Center; another at Consol Energy Center, which replaced the Civic Arena; and somewhere on the 28-acre site after it is redeveloped. The authority is setting aside the pylons and the terrazzo from the center ice area for possible use in the redevelopment, Straley said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Based on glowing recommendation, Pens hire Agnew as assistant
- Penguins re-sign Megna, Samuelsson to 1-year deals