Falling dome

Good morning everyone!  I hope that you all had a great weekend!

Today, as promised, we head back up to the top of the Steel Building in downtown Pittsburgh for some more sky high shots, specially of the iconic former home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Civic Arena.  I posted an HDR that I took at the Pens game last Tuesday from CONSOL Energy Center of the Igloo, just after another of the roof panels had collapsed.  In the above shot you can actually see what was left of that collapsed panel two days later, when this shot was taken.  It really is amazing and a bit heart wrenching to see the Arena in this state, with little left inside but a handful of seats and a mass of crumbling concrete and steel.  If you look close, just off to the right of the center of what is left of the Igloo you can see still see the corner of where the ice used to be, as it is rounded off around an orange backhoe.  The view from street level is sad enough, but from 64 floors up, it is clear that the days of the Civic Arena are nearing an end.


So the first shot above was taken with a telephoto lens but for the second shot, the one directly above, I switched back over to the wide angle to capture both the Igloo and its successor as home of the Pens, CONSOL Energy Center.  On the front of the building, the side with all the glass, you can see the name and logo of the state of the art structure.  Just above that and to the left is the window that I captured the previous image of the Civic Arena that I posted last Wednesday.  From this vantage point you can really see the difference between the two building, CONSOL being so much larger that its predecessor.  True the dome on the Igloo added a fair amount of height, but there was little room, especially along the two concourses inside for movement among fans.  While the new building certainly lacks the charm of the older in more ways than one, it does provide a substantial upgrade in terms of amenities for Pens fans.


Lastly we will zoom out just a little further for an all encompassing shot of the area above the arenas and beyond.  Here you get a great perspective of the areas that lay just outside the city.  In the bottom center you have the aforementioned arenas and to the left of them you have the interchange that takes you north of the city.  This was taken just after 5:00 and you can see that some traffic is beginning to build, but it isn’t really that bad…yet.  Above the Civic Arena you can see the Hill District, once a thriving center of culture for the city and there is hope that the city and the Hill District can be reunited to rekindle that.  In the middle of the frame and along the left hand side you can see the Strip District, still a center of business and industry for the ‘Burgh and beyond that Lawrenceville and Bloomfield.  Slightly right of center towards the upper middle of the shot you can see the Cathedral of Learning, located on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  A few months back I made it up to the 36th floor of that building and when I looked down at it from 64 floors up, it looked like a little apartment building.  To the right you will see the windy Monongahela River as it disappears along the South Side of Pittsburgh, underneath both the Birmingham (close with the green support) and Hot Metal (last bridge in the distance) Bridges.  The Hot Metal is aptly named for when it connected two parts of the J&L Steel Mills, carrying molten steel from one side of the river to the other.

Thanks for sticking with me through this long post today!  I will be featuring more shots from the top of the Steel Building throughout the week.  See you all tomorrow!

  • Rich McPeek - February 27, 2012 - 7:33 am

    AWESOME Dave! These shots are incredible! I’m blown away dude. Great work!ReplyCancel

  • Len Saltiel - February 27, 2012 - 7:36 am

    These really rock Dave. Great vantage point and the processing is great as usual. That vantage point is awesomeReplyCancel

  • Chris Nitz - February 27, 2012 - 7:39 am

    Dude, what a seriously kick ass vantage point to shoot from. I loved how you got in close for the first shot and then slowly backed away to give an ever growing sense of scale. Also, that construction equipment inside the dome looks so tiny inside there. Killer man!ReplyCancel

  • Jim Denham - February 27, 2012 - 7:40 am

    Definitely a bird’s eye view of all the action!! Nice documenting Dave – what a great pov for doing just that!ReplyCancel

  • Curt Fleenor - February 27, 2012 - 8:01 am

    Awesome view Dave! Fantastic work capturing the deconstruction of this icon.ReplyCancel

  • Adam Olson - February 27, 2012 - 9:00 am

    What a POV! Fantastic shots Dave!ReplyCancel

  • Jimi Jones - February 27, 2012 - 9:43 am

    Totally awesome, man! These are breathtaking shots and you’ve processed them very nicely. Love this POV!ReplyCancel

  • Edith Levy - February 27, 2012 - 9:43 am

    Incredible shots Dave. I do love the first one as the detail inside the arena is awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Jim Nix - February 27, 2012 - 9:48 am

    Dave these are awesome, so glad you got to be up in this spot at this time so you could get these shots, well done!!ReplyCancel

  • Rick Louie - February 27, 2012 - 11:52 am

    That’s a very cool perspective! It almost appears like ruins in Rome.ReplyCancel

  • Steven Perlmutter - February 27, 2012 - 11:54 am

    These are awesome Dave. It’s always sad to see these old sports arenas go away.ReplyCancel

  • Kurt Miller - February 27, 2012 - 12:43 pm

    Great views. Sad on one hand, but exciting in that we’re moving forward.ReplyCancel

  • gmuny2002 - February 27, 2012 - 1:57 pm

    H8 to see “the Arena” go! sniff!ReplyCancel

  • A.Barlow - February 27, 2012 - 2:55 pm

    That’s pretty crazy, such a huge plot of land it’s on too.ReplyCancel

  • Marc Collins - February 27, 2012 - 3:40 pm

    Great vantage point. Love the last one where the road network is clearly seen.
    Gone with the arena are all those wonderful memories of Super Mario!ReplyCancel

  • LensScaper - February 28, 2012 - 3:59 am

    A truly great set. A sad site to see the igloo in this sad state – what a grandstand view. The final shot is magnificent – an extraordinary panorama with the road’s ‘tentacles’ wrapping around the frame. It certainly pays to go high! Thanks for sharing these images.ReplyCancel

  • Chantal - February 28, 2012 - 5:00 am

    what a great overviewReplyCancel

  • Adam Allegro - February 28, 2012 - 7:41 am

    These shots from so high up are awesome. It is sad to see them tearing it down, but hopefully the new one will help fill the void? Well done Dave.ReplyCancel

  • John Fries - February 28, 2012 - 10:02 am

    Wow–great shots! I hate to see the arena dismantled, as I’m a former Uptown resident and Epiphany School student–so I remember from my early-1960s childhood when it was still new. Did you use a filter on the camera? The photos look almost like a painting. Thanks for posting!ReplyCancel

    • Dave DiCello - February 28, 2012 - 2:39 pm

      Hi John! Nope, not filter. The majority of my shots are HDR images, which combines 7 different exposures of the same scene into on shot that gives you that painterly look!ReplyCancel

  • Chris Cowman - February 28, 2012 - 11:25 am

    Fantastic set, Dave. Love the zoom vs. gradual retreat. Can I ask how you were able to get up there?ReplyCancel

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