Monday, September 17, 2012

An Igloo for Mario

Pittsburgh Civic Auditorium and Mellon Arena - click to enlarge photo
  The National Hockey League was in a growth spurt in the early sixties, and one player for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mario Lemieux, was the "big man".  So many fans wanted to see him play that Pittsburgh needed a new arena.
  The "Igloo" was built at 66 Lemieux Place, constructed of good old Pittsburgh steel, and topped with a retractable roof mad of stainless steel it opened on September 17, 1961.  Now 16,760 fans could fill the seats for hockey.
  It was the very first arena with a retractable roof, but it was never opened due to some mechanical failures.
  The building was demolished in September 2001 after 50 years of service.  The stainless steel having been removed before the final blast.
  Mario played until 2006, mostly for the Penguins.  He won 3 Olympic Gold Medals for Canada too.
Open for hockey. click to enlarge photo

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