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Historic Designation Rejected for Civic Arena

Wednesday, March 02, 2011
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The city Historic Review Commission refused to designate the Civic Arena a city historic structure today, a setback for those seeking to save the old building.

The panel voted 6-0 to reject the building’s nomination, reversing an earlier decision to designate the arena as a historic structure.

It followed the same pattern that occurred in the early 1990s when the commission gave preliminary approval and then rejected it in a final vote.

The decision is a setback for local preservationists who have been trying to stop the demolition of the 49-year-old arena. It is a victory for the Penguins, who want to use the site for housing, offices and shops.

Before he voted, Ernie Hogan, the commission’s acting chairman, said he did not think the arena met any of the 10 criteria for nomination.

Rob Pfaffmann, leader of Reuse the Igloo, said afterwards he was very disappointed with the decision but would continue the battle to save the structure.

The fight is far from over. The city planning commission and ultimately city council still must take up the nomination.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633