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Pa. Historical Panel Raises Concerns About Mellon Arena

Thursday, June 17, 2010
By Katie Falloon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has expressed concerns about the speed of the planned demolition of the Mellon Arena, prompting a response today from the Sports & Exhibition Authority.

In the commission’s letter sent Wednesday, director Jean Cutler requested more information.

“We are sympathetic with the need to move quickly, however we also want to ensure that we have received all crucial information in a fashion that allows us to fully understand both the process and the project’s effects on historic resources,” Ms. Cutler said in the letter.

Following today’s SEA board meeting, Executive Director Mary Conturo said members think moving through the process quickly is best, Ms. Conturo said. Mellon Arena will be vacant come August, and the costs of maintaining the building will fall on SEA, she said.

Utilities and insurance for the arena will cost between $78,000 and $100,000 per month, depending on whether the intention is to keep the arena dark or there is an opportunity for reuse, said Christen Cieslak, principal at Chronicle Consulting.

“We think everything done to date is very thorough and very well done,” Ms. Conturo said.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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