For decades in Pittsburgh, “The Igloo” was the iconic home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Known less so by its proper name, Pittsburgh Civic Arena, the legendary building has been in danger ever since the Penguins’ new home, CONSOL Energy Center, was built.
With CONSOL being across the street from The Igloo and parking at a premium, The Igloo has been in danger of being torn down to make room for new new office buildings and living space. Fans have been doing their part for the last year to try and find a way to save The Igloo, but their efforts may have finally come to an end.
People in Pittsburgh have been trying to file a federal appeal to get the demolition of The Igloo stopped, but a federal appeals court has refused to hear the appeal thus paving the way for the legendary building to be knocked down.
The decision gives the city-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority, the Igloo’s owner, the go-ahead to start the demolition of the 50-year-old landmark Monday morning.
“It’s just a sad day. I think a lot of people are going to miss this building,” said Scott Leib, president of Preservation Pittsburgh.
Preservation Pittsburgh sought an emergency injunction before the circuit court after U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone threw out the group’s lawsuit aimed at blocking the razing.
It argued that the redevelopment of the arena’s 28-acre Hill District site would require federal highway funds and therefore a federal review of the plan to demolish the historic building.
But Judge Cercone said the group failed to convince him that there would be any federal involvement in the project and that he lacked jurisdiction to halt the work.
It’s a sad day for fans of both Penguins fans and appreciators of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies to see The Igloo meet this demise. While the building itself was one of the most unique in the league and in the country (the roof was once retractable and made to be a major concert venue), its unique traits aren’t enough to keep it around in Pittsburgh.
It’ll be sad to see The Igloo go because it was the home of such legendary Penguins teams. From the team’s early days in the late 1960s on through to Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby. We’ll remember The Igloo for all the great games and teams that it hosted and bid it a fond farewell when it’s time for it to finally come down.