Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Penguins Unveil Plans for Mellon Arena Site

The Penguins last night revealed the preliminary plans for the Mellon Arena, which is to be replaced by a new arena to be built between Centre and Fifth avenues, Uptown.

The plans were shown at a public meeting attended by about 150 people, including Hill District residents and others interested in the future of the former Civic Arena site.

A Request for Proposals was released in May of this year to several design agencies, architecture firms and demolition companies to come up with proposed plans for the site.

Hundreds of responses were received by the Penguins, who narrowed the field down a handful of eligible submissions. Many of the submissions were duplicative, focusing on rubble, smoking craters, an large amounts of dynamite.

Two of the top five submissions came from graduate students at Carnegie-Mellon University:

Students from the School of Architecture proposed converting the retractable dome arena into a MagLev station for the heretofore still prosed MegLev line from the Pittsburgh AirPort to Greenburg.

Taking a slightly different tack, students from the Engineering College suggested "nuking it from orbit," adding, "it was the only way to be sure."

A consortium of artists funded by the Sprout Fund advocated a neighborhood fair in which the community would remove small pieces of the arena until it disappeared. The function would also include interpretive dance and levitating tables.

A group led by former City Councilman Sala Udin proposed selling the arena to Cleveland.

However, the panel of judges was most impressed by a submission from the Other One Hill Concerned Citizens Council Corporation who proposed leaving the Mellon Area vacant, demolishing a part of it, abandoning it by the City, letting the rest go tax delinquent, and finally letting it rot to a point where it becomes a haven for crime, drugs, and other vermin.

Speaking for the Penguins, Patrick Lempka, lead architect for the project, said that the OOHCCC proposal best represented both "the history of the Hill and fit in with the narrative and rhythm of the Neighborhood."

In a related development, 15 Hill residents who represent the Other Other One Hill Very Concerned Citizens Council Corporation, Inc. presented a list of demands to County Executive Dan Onorato insisting that any demolition to take place would happen without destroying any structures and with a 20% cut to the OOOHVCCC, Inc.

The County Executive Office did not return phone calls for this article.

1 comment:

Bram Reichbaum said...

Onorato's answering phone calls. I think. That other guy ....