Reuse the Igloo (Pittsburgh CIvic Arena)
  • Petitioned Bill Peduto

This petition was delivered to:

Bill Peduto
Patrick Dowd
Ricky V. Burgess
Bruce Kraus
Theresa Kail-Smith
Natalia Rudiak
Luke Ravenstahl
Dan Lavelle
County Executive
Dan Onorato
Pennsylvania Governor
Pennsylvania State Senate
Sen. Pat Toomey
State Sen. Wayne Fontana
State Rep. Jake Wheatley
State Sen. Jim Ferlo
Gov. Thomas Corbett
Gov. Tom Corbett
Sen. Robert Casey
Rep. Mike Doyle

Reuse the Igloo (Pittsburgh CIvic Arena)

    1. Robert Pfaffmann
    2. Petition by

      Robert Pfaffmann

      Pittsurgh, PA

Throughout the first half of the 20th century Pittsburgh was known for its industrial innovation. This often came at a cost in terms of destruction our environment. In 1958, as part of the 200th Anniversary of Pittsburgh, ground was broken for this icon of modern design and engineering. It was a symbol of our recovery with its innovative movable domed roof showing off the clean air and skyline. 

The Arena was designed as part of a visionary but misguided “Cultural Acropolis” for the Symphony akin to New York’s Lincoln Center, edged by then-trendy modern high rise residential towers offering clean new housing with the promise of light, space and views. Of course, there is another side of that story, the failure of urban renewal that still haunts residents of the Hill today. (See Chris Moore’s Wiley Avenue Days). 

Our Vision:
Keys to our future competitiveness will be about conservation, local job creation, and rebuilding green. So let’s imagine that the stainless steel-clad Igloo could become unique and a destination for visitors to learn of our innovative ways. It could become our answer to Chicago’s Millennium Park or New York's High Line. 

In order to visualize this transformation, imagine that we would remove most of the interior seating “bowl” and all of the non-structural stuff of the old arena. Now, stripped to its structural elegance, we would have the ability to build new uses within it (imagine a hermit crab!) and still have room for the coolest park around with a roof that opens in summer and closes in winter! 

Imagine this circular park with lush landscape in summer and the recycled Pen’s rink in winter. It could have a small amphitheater next to the rink for jazz, Cirque du Soleil, Squonk Opera—all complementing the business for the new Arena. Imagine a hip “destination hotel,” retail, restaurants and a surrounding residential neighborhood with views every bit as dramatic as Mt. Washington. A key feature would be a reconnected Wiley Avenue connecting the City to the Hill once again.

This would not be an isolated place like it is today, but a truly “civic” space fully integrated with surrounding new development as a NEW symbol befitting Pittsburgh’s rebirth as a place of innovation.

go to to learn more!

Recent signatures


    1. Thanks for your passion and help

      Robert Pfaffmann
      Petition Organizer

      Please support Preservation Pittsburgh; we are an all volunteer organization that has the guts to speak up when others run for cover. The lessons of the Igloo will not be forgotten. Those who are responsible will be reminded at the voting booth!

    2. Reached 250 signatures
    3. Robert Pfaffmann
      Petition Organizer

      If you want to join our mailing list please fill out this form. We will only use it for notices of meetings and other alerts. We currently broadcast to our facebook members and those who are already signed up. When we go city council the more people we have with names and addresses the more they take notice.


    4. Robert Pfaffmann
      Petition Organizer

      Please include your email or other contact so that your elected officials can respond to your letters. They have gotten our message but feel frustrated they cannot communicate back using ...Thanks

    5. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Robert Campbell NORSBORG, SWEDEN, PA
      • over 3 years ago

      As a native Pittsburgher now living in Sweden I can tell you that it would be a shame to tear down a historic and architecturally unique venue like the Civic Arena.

      It doesn't matter that the Penguins now play across the street: the Rome Coliseum still stands yet no more gladitorial fights occur there.

      Please preserve this unique building for future generations to admire and study.

    • Mahire Clarke HPLMDEL, NJ
      • over 3 years ago

      Trust the architects. They are some of the most creative species on earth. They personally know the birthing pains of any project. How? They were part of the labor force. They know the social and financial sacrifices made and the value of existing buildings. They are the cocreators of our physical material landscape. They know the complexity of architecture. Let us design with what we already have. Flexibility of great designs like this building is our greatest gift. Mahire Clarke B. Arch. 1981

    • Zandra Gribbin TURTLE CREEK,, PA
      • over 3 years ago

      This is too great a treasure to lose. Stop the anticipated demolition. Allow time to consider alternate uses. Once it's gone, it's gone.

    • Tom Galownia CECIL, PA
      • over 3 years ago

      There is a third option to demolishing it or saving it in place. You can move it. For 75 to 100 million dollars the stainless steel retractable roof that will last at least 5oo years can be relocated and should be required instead of demolishing it. After all, taxpayer dollars have funded this whole project and the igloo should be kept as a historic structure for the area. It unique stainless steel retractable roof is the only one in the world and would most definitely be a tourst destination, just like castles are used in Germany. Please think outside the box, history will show this the right move and furture generations will thank you.

    • Francis Schmitt PITTSBURGH, PA
      • over 3 years ago

      This "machine-building" known as the Civic Arena is the only one of its kind ever built by humans and it works well! The building needs to be used better as a regional tourist attraction, similar to the Eiffel Tower which does NOT have a roof that opens. It is small enough to use for many things and is worth subsidizing it in the future as it has been subsidized in the past; that was the origianal choice and it was a good one!


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