They’re Taking Down Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

A poetry friend emailed and told me they were dismantling the roof.  I drove by after school Tuesday, rain and gray.  A huge chain link fence has been erected around the perimeter.  I could see what she noticed and why she thought it might be an interesting photograph.  It felt sad.  My friend V says she remembers when the Civic Arena was built(1961) and that the roof never really did work right, although it was supposed to open up to the sky in less than two minutes according to what I read about it.

Mellon Arena… hosted such music legends as Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, six sold-out nights of Garth Brooks and The Grateful Dead

The Mellon Arena hosted its first show, the Ice Capades, on September 19, 1961. Other notable performance highlights include: The Beatles on September 14, 1964, Elvis Presley on June 25, 1973 and the Page/Plant concert on March 25, 1995, which registered the highest attendance ever in the Arena (17,764) until January 30, 1999 when 18,150 fans packed the arena for a WWF house show.”  from History of Mellon Arena

And the Penguins play at the new Consol Energy Center built down the hill from the old Arena.  Here is phase one, the beginning of the tearing down of the Mellon Arena. Lots of memories for many people.

I have shot an engaged and a wedding couple with the Mellon Arena as the backdrop.

Dedicated hockey fans.

10 thoughts on “They’re Taking Down Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

  1. Although I’ve never been to the place, I do remember it. When I lived in Detroit, I was a dedicated Red Wings & “Hockey Night in Canada” fan, I saw a number of away games played there.I don’t recall the roof being movable but, then again, it would have been odd for it to have been opened for a hockey game, to be sure.

  2. I graduated from the Civic Arena and 36 years later Yoni graduated from the Mellon Arena. I used to love when they would open the dome. Hmmmm

  3. Great shot that captures the sadness of our loss. I saw Dylan there with the roof open and the summer evening cityscape as a backdrop. And saw Crosby, Stills and Nash one night they opened the roof. Crosby was so out of it, he didn’t know what was happening even after being told several times by his bandmates. Thanks for a fine shot.

  4. So sad to loose such a piece of history. I’m jealous that Mellon Arena got to see so many concerts: Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles and Elvis Presley.
    Beautiful, expertly shot photos. An eloquent post.

  5. Very sad to see. So many memories here. I saw my very first concert there. Red Hot Chili Peppers One Hot Minute tour on March 14, 1996. I was only 9 years old, going on 10! I saw Marilyn Manson Dead to the World tour May 4, 1997. 11 years old with my dear old dad! Marilyn Manson Beautiful Monsters tour April 16, 1999. I had just turned 13 & this was my first concert without parental supervision! Good memories!!

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