who are you?
As Pittsburgh continues to grow and sheds its Smoky City image, I look back to remember an iconic structure that is no longer part of our landscape: The Civic Arena.
With its igloo shaped dome of aluminum that retracted to the evening sky, it’s an important structure and many of us miss it dearly.
My dad took me to see my first hockey game there in the early 1970s, my sister and I went there to be part of the crowd scene for the filming of The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh in the late ’70s, I saw The Who, Yes, Black Sabbath, Supertramp, The Allman Brothers Band, ELP, Jethro Tull and many other bands there throughout the ʼ70s and into early ʼ80s.
My wife and I took our two boys to see the circus there in the ’90s. These are but a few of my fond memories. What are yours?
I’m a bit older. I remember how futuristic people thought it was. It never occurred to me that I would live to see it being torn down.
I remember watching it going up while riding by in the streetcar. When I was a senior in high school, I went to an event soon after the Arena was opened at which they opened the roof. And I heard Pavarotti there the last time he came to town. He was past his prime by then, as was the building, but he was still Pavarotti and it was still the Civic Arena.
Laura Pace Lilley
The one thing I recalled most is that they never included enough restrooms for women. There was always a line long enough to make you miss something, whether it was a concert, hockey game or Sesame Street Live. And the concourses were so narrow you could barely move sometimes. Big difference from today’s arenas!
Bob Batz Jr.
I’ll never forget the one time — for a John Mellencamp show? — I got to be inside when the roof was open. I thought it was the coolest building ever.
The color of the exterior, like the color of the Gateway buildings Downtown, always seemed to be the color of Pittsburgh.