Civic Arena Update
May 11, 2002, Preserving, Improving Pittsburgh with Art Ziegler (Interview)
The building is an extraordinary example of early modern design in the world. It remains a unique building, and we believe that it should not be cast aside until studies are done to see if any feasible adaptive use can be developed for it.
We recognize the difficulty of reusing the building, but we have already proposed using it as a possible downtown stop for the proposed Mag-Lev. We think it might be a great African-American center of jazz and products and restaurants.
Our concern was prompted by the Penguins’ plan by UDA Architects that showed the building demolished and replaced with buildings and housing. We don’t know what the market support is for that plan, but we were concerned that they did not consider the possibility of reuse.
So what we are recommending is that studies be undertaken of the possible reuse of the Civic Arena and all the surrounding open land. There is a magnificent opportunity there for our city and we would like to see the area be utilized to its optimum and that the downtown and the Hill District be reunited through that development.
We are also advocating an open process lead by Hill District residents and business people so all interested parties can participate.