ADVOCACY ALERT. Last Chance for the Igloo By Robert S. Pfaffman, AIA, AICP

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1 ADVOCACY ALERT Preservation Hopes for "The Igloo" Are Melting: Pittsburgh's Civic Area Needs Your Help NOW! The Civic Arena: Modernism Under Fire Last Chance for the Igloo By Robert S. Pfaffman, AIA, AICP The question of the Civic Arena is on the leading edge of a whole generation of sites and buildings from post World War II America faced with similar debates. A session on the challenges and opportunities for the preservation of Modernist architecture and planning is scheduled for the Statewide Conference on Heritage (Love it or Hate it: Modernism and the Struggle to Preserve the Recent Past-- see below) and the National Trust Conference in Buffalo this fall (Arenas of Modernism: from Portland to The long saga of the campaign to reuse the Pittsburgh Civic Arena (affectionately known by fans as "the Igloo") is coming to a climax in May and June. Last November, the Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA), the owner of this innovative structure, unanimously voted to demolish. Soon afterward, the City Planning Commission rubber-stamped demolition, despite letters from the preservation community including the National Trust, Preservation PA and local organizations reminding them that they were potentially violating Federal "anticipatory demolition" laws (Section 110k of the National Historic Preservation Act). The question of Federal laws is dependent on the use of federal funding, in this case, $30 million in transportation

2 Pittsburgh) Statewide Conference on Heritage May 17-19, 2011 Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg The conference will feature workshops, sessions and speakers from the historic preservation, archaeological, heritage tourism, transportation, legislative, and planning communities, including a number of nationally known speakers and subjects of state, regional and national importance. To register for the full conference, half days or individual sessions, please click here. For additional conference details and information, please follow this link.. CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHT: Love it or Hate it: Modernism and the Struggle to Preserve the Recent Past Wednesday, May 18th 10:30am-12:00pm The significant buildings, landscapes, and sites of the Modern movement and the funds requested through Senators Casey, Specter and local congressmen Doyle and Altmire. The funds would be used to build new streets on the Lower Hill site where the Arena sits. A long time Hill Resident, Eloise McDonald, volunteered to nominate the structure as a locally designated historic landmark, which forced a review process that ends with a vote by City Council sometime in June. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP? Reuse the Igloo and Preservation Pittsburgh are focused on the following approaches to saving the Igloo: 1. LEGAL ACTION Advocates are preparing legal options, should City Council also ignore the anticipatory demolition laws. Preservation Pittsburgh, a 501c3 organization, is asking for donations to support the legal and economic analysis. Go to 2. GRASS ROOTS SUPPORT We need your letters, calls and presence at the Public Hearing scheduled for May 23rd at 5:30pm at the Epiphany Hall at Centre and Washington Place, next to the Arena. You can sign up, sign a petition and learn more about events planned around the Hearing by going to or Reuse the igloo on Facebook Pages or Groups. You can also sign up for twitter feeds at reusetheigloo. 3. DEVELOPER INTEREST Because Governor Rendell, the County and the City gave the development rights to the Pittsburgh Penguins, (owned by California billionaire Ron Burkle), bringing interested developers to the table is difficult. A developer is preparing a reuse proposal as of this writing. We have consistently proposed to the SEA and the Penguins a 1-

3 important architectural, social, and cultural resources of the past 50 years are among the most underappreciated and vulnerable aspects of our heritage. A steady campaign of demolition erodes the physical fabric of the recent past with little consideration of its importance. This session will focus on three resources in Pennsylvania that have been the subject of some intense battles for their survival: The Sidney Hillman Medical Center in Philadelphia, the Richard Neutra-designed Cyclorama building in Gettysburg and the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. Come hear their stories and the efforts to preserve them. Presenters: John Gallery, Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia; Chris Madrid French, National Trust for Historic Preservation; and Rob Pfaffmann, Pfaffmann + Associates. Moderator: Mindy Crawford, Preservation Pennsylvania year hold on demolition to allow a thorough federal Section 106 review process AND a developer competition to prove that there is an economically viable option to demolition. Economic planner Todd Poole of 4ward Planning developed a proforma that shows that reuse of the structure is an economic asset to the community around it, much like the Highline Park in New York that has transformed an old railroad trestle into a major destination and development catalyst. 4. THE POLITICS OF MEMORY Intertwined with the political debate, is the question of the urban renewal legacy of the lower Hill district. Some believe that negative history of planning outweighs the positive aspects of the design. The overheated political rhetoric has included words to describe the lower hill's history as "genocidal" to justify demolition. Advocates have proposed a mediation process, using principles from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience: Advocates for reuse hope that the 50 th Anniversary of the Civic Arena (Sept 17, 1961) will not mark a failure to bridge the political, racial, and economic divides that have prevented the development of truly innovative and collaborative vision, worthy of Pittsburgh's economic and environmental transformation. CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHT: The Economic Impact of Tax Credits in PA: The Case for a State Companion Thursday, May 19th 8:30am-10:00am A Sampling of Hot New Design Concepts for an Historic "Igloo"

4 Although Pennsylvania is the fourth highest user of the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program it is one of only ten states that has not passed a companion state tax credit. This session will provide a review of some of Pennsylvania's most successful tax credit projects, the results of a recent study on the Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation and an overview of current advocacy efforts to pass this legislation. Presenters: Mindy Crawford, Preservation Pennsylvania; Karen Arnold, Bureau for Historic Preservation, PHMC; Andrew Haines, Affordable Housing Division, S & A Homes, Inc.; Anne E. Nelson, Esq., Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation; and David Ziel and Jeff Spotts, Urban Outfitters. Trouble Viewing This Advocacy Alert? Please open it up in your browser window by using the link at the top of the e- mail. Please visit Reuse the Igloo's website for additional information about efforts to save the Civic Arena and

5 proposals for this structure's future. Please support Pittsburgh's Civic Arena at the Public Hearing on May 23rd at 5:30 p.m. at Epiphany Hall at Centre and Washington Place, next to the Arena. Your presence, letters and calls are extremely important! Sign a petition and learn more at the Reuse the Igloo website. Who Are We? 257 North Street Harrisburg, PA (717) Our Mission Preservation Pennsylvania, through creative partnerships, targeted educational and advocacy programs, advisory assistance, and special projects, assists Pennsylvania communities to protect and utilize the historic resources they want to preserve for the future. Preservation Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth's only statewide, private non-profit, membership organization dedicated to the protection of historically and architecturally significant properties. We are distinguished nationally as a statewide partner organization with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and across the Commonwealth as a resource for preservationrelated advocacy initiatives, educational events, technical support, administering the Preservation Fund for Pennsylvania, highlighting at-risk historic resources, and acknowledging the outstanding efforts of preservationists in our state. If we may be of assistance, please contact us using the information on the left! Preservation Pennsylvania is officially licensed as a charitable organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation under Internal Revenue Service regulations. A copy of the official registration and financial information of Preservation Pennsylvania may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) Registration does not imply endorsement. Questions about Preservation Pennsylvania should be addressed to (717) All membership/donor contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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