KQV AM 1410

KQV Editorial

The Future of the Mellon Arena!

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     One of the most controversial and compelling questions facing the city in the immediate future is what should happen to the Mellon Arena now that the new Consol Energy Center is nearing completion and will serve as the future home of the Penguins.


     From the time the 47 year old structure, know as the Civic Arena, was constructed, it has been Pittsburgh’s primary entertainment and sports center.  Known primarily as the home of the Penguins, it also served as the home of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the Pittsburgh Triangles…the city’s tennis team…popular concerts featuring top talent, and other civic events.


     For years, the arena has been one of Pittsburgh’s most noted and most important landmarks.  With its innovative architecture and retractable roof, it has attracted national attention and has been a Pittsburgh institution.  However, as with all things, time has taken its toll on the arena and its glory day are long gone.  The spectacular new Consol Energy Center has become the future home of the Penguins.  Obviously, some disposition must be made of the Mellon Arena and there are strong feelings about what should be done.


     Ownership of the arena belongs to the Sports and Exhibition Authority which favors demolition of the building.  However, there are other groups and developers who feel that the arena, which is eligible to appear on the National Register of Historic Places, should be preserved.  Those who advocate the arena’s demolition feel that the valuable 28 acre lower Hill District site should be converted to a residential and retail district.


     Proponents of preserving the arena also feel that the structure is unique and can offer unique opportunities for similar development, including a park-like interior and distinctive retail features.


     It is our feeling that no decision should be made arbitrarily and we endorse the hiring of the Michael Baker organization to make a comprehensive study and offer recommendations for future action.


     In our opinion, this is and opportunity for the development of a very important area in Pittsburgh and we hope that the existing structure can be preserved…with possible major modifications. 


     In any case, we’ll have to live with this decision for years to come…so, let’s make the right one!



Robert W. Dickey


KQV Newsradio
February 5, 6, 7, 2010                                   














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