View Full Version : New Haven Coliseum

November 13th, 2006, 06:19 PM
The hideous New Haven Coliseum is being torn down. Good riddance! It was an eyesore from Day 1 and, from what I remember, was an engineering nightmare. The auditorium was too small and, hence, could not accommodate many venues. The garage was ill-designed without any water runoff drains, allowing salt water to just sit there and rot everything away. Combine the dark brown exterior with New Haven's lovely 250 watt sodium vapor street lights, and you can easily see how the Coliseum was very popular at night. Now, if only New Haven would tear down the Yale School of Architecture building or the Temple Street garage, we'd all be able to sleep a lot easier!

November 13th, 2006, 08:33 PM
Is it completely down now? The arena part was gutted when I last saw it, but the garage above was still standing.

November 13th, 2006, 08:40 PM
Rusty ol' thing.

November 14th, 2006, 11:03 PM
Is the Colliseum going to be replaced?

November 16th, 2006, 09:32 PM
I will presume the answer is, "yes." With an empty parking lot, just like the former Malley's Department Store site about a block away.

December 11th, 2006, 07:41 AM
With an empty parking lot, just like the former Malley's Department Store site about a block away.
City of New Haven is disappearing. Fizzing away like an Alka-Seltzer.

December 11th, 2006, 09:26 AM
More on this HERE (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=135253&postcount=1) ...

... a long road lies ahead in rescuing recent architectural history. Kevin Roche’s nearby Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a big brute of a building whose spiral ramps and rooftop parking have made it a cult favorite of architecture students, is being demolished. A few miles away Marcel Breuer’s Pirelli Building has been partly dismantled to make way for a parking lot.

If Kahn and Rudolph have symbolically made peace after decades of supposed conflict, we should be capable of acknowledging and embracing architecture’s contradictory threads, which benefit us all.

December 11th, 2006, 11:12 AM
Seems to me that New Haven is improving - especially around 9th sq. Definitely at the expense of older buildings, which is terrible (especially what Ikea did to the Pirelli Building)

January 8th, 2007, 02:23 PM
End is near for the Coliseum
Mary E. O’Leary, Register Topics Editor

NEW HAVEN — Rented tires, 15,000 of them, were being trucked in and spread throughout the site of the Coliseum Friday as the countdown begins to Jan. 20, when the massive structure will fall to the ground.

Earthen berms, several stories high, continue to expand at the site and a temporary steel lean-to already is in place for almost a block over South Orange Street to protect underground utilities.

Its all designed to absorb the energy from six levels of steel and concrete crashing onto the four acres in Ninth Square, seconds after explosives are set off at 7:30 a.m.

"Its been a fantastic challenge to sort all the issues out and coordinate the whole process," said civil engineer Greg Paquin, project executive for Stamford Wrecking, the company hired for the job.

Stamford in turn subcontracted with Demolition Dynamics of Franklin, Tenn., to conduct the implosion.

Paquin has been with the project from the beginning, when estimates put the implosion date at September 2005.

Concerns with protecting sensitive utility lines, however, added $1.8 million to the total cost to cover additional demolition work and engineering studies, and more than a year to get it completed.

Using steel harvested from the garage atop the massive Coliseum, engineers built a temporary bridge that leans against what once was the mezzanine level of the three-decade-old arena and protects underground utilities along South Orange Street.

Unlike the high-rise office towers usually taken down by implosion in the middle of cities, Paquin said the Coliseum is really "just a big bridge in the sky. We are bringing the superstructure down to a working level so machines can take it apart. Thats the process."

He said there will be relatively little dust kicked up by the implosion, given the lack of masonry or interior partitions in the building.

What will be left after the charges are set is 50-foot-high piles of rubble that will take a few months to clear from the area before it is paved as a temporary parking lot.

"It will sort of fall like a pancake," said city Deputy Economic Development Administrator Tony Bialecki, and it will stay relatively intact on top of the layers of tires, earth and chain-link fencing graded across the area.

Streets around the Coliseum will stay open until shortly before the implosion; traffic at the nearby Interstate 95/91 interchange will be halted just before the building is brought down so as not to startle drivers.

The details of breakfast parties at nearby restaurants on Jan. 20, public viewing sites and a safety perimeter will be announced shortly.

Bialecki said the city will meet with the tenants of the adjacent Ninth Square residences next week and has already started talking to businesses.

Netting will be put over the buildings close to the site before the implosion and Stamford Wrecking has hired a third party to take hundreds of photos to document the condition of all the structures to protect against any damage claims.

Like most people in Greater New Haven, Paquin, 40, who grew up in East Haven, remembers the Coliseum in its glory days, when it played host to rock concerts and other events. As a high school student, Paquin played hockey there.

But he said this job will be his best memory of the place and hes familiar with all the details.

Why then, he was asked, are the tires rented?

"With the quantity that we need and to dispose of it later would be a pretty costly venture, so we found someone who rents them," Paquin said.

As to where they got them and how much they charged, he wasnt at liberty to say, except that it was a local company.

Mary E. O’Leary can be reached at moleary@nhregister.com (%20moleary@nhregister.com) or 789-5731.

©New Haven Register 2007

January 18th, 2007, 08:54 PM
They must have gotten those tires at a blowout sale.

January 19th, 2007, 03:51 PM
I think this is the arena where Jim Morrison was maced and then arrested. First time he was arrested.

January 19th, 2007, 04:49 PM
I only knew about the later 1969 Miami arrest, you ^^^ are correct ...

On December 9, 1967, Morrison was arrested at a concert in New Haven for breach of peace, resisting arrest, and indecent exposure. Police were called after he was seen backstage having sex with a young girl, and Morrison was angry that they were questioning him. The police arrested him when he exposed himself at the show, the first time a rock star was arrested in the middle of a performance.
Watch VIDEO (http://www.kaibock.de/1024start/The_Doors_/The_Doors_Videos_/Verhaftung_DSL_/verhaftung_dsl_.html) of Jim's arrest -- see Jim dumbfounded :cool:

Bonus VIDEO (http://www.kaibock.de/1024start/The_Doors_/The_Doors_Videos_/People_Are_Str_DSL_/people_are_str_dsl_.html) of The Doors on The Ed Sullivan Show -- Jim sings "People are Strange"

Jim Morrison es arrestado en el
escenario de New Haven en 1967.



January 19th, 2007, 04:55 PM
a real rock star ...


January 20th, 2007, 12:00 AM
Since the Coliseum went up in '72 all that ^^^ Jim Morrison stuff is beside the point ...

Coliseum Will Fall, Taking Grand-Scale Philosophy With It

Suzy Allman for The New York Times
The Veterans Memorial Coliseum lost money for years before it stopped operating in 2002.
Its implosion was set for 7:30 a.m. today.

nytimes.com (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/20/nyregion/20coliseum.html?ref=nyregion)
January 20, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Jan. 19 — There are rooftop soirees and a city-sponsored official watching spot. One art gallery has scheduled an open-microphone night to encourage people to share their memories. People from near and far are making plans to witness the implosion, though the whole spectacle is expected to last less than 20 seconds.

Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m., the New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum — host to Van Halen, Bob Hope, monster truck shows, wrestling matches and countless minor-league hockey games — is scheduled to be put to rest.

From the time it was built in 1972, the Coliseum towered over the city with high hopes of downtown renewal. But for the last 10 years, it has run a deficit as big-name acts skipped over New Haven to play in Connecticut’s casinos or other, newer venues.

Now, after decades of debate over its potential as a tool for urban renewal, the crumbling giant will come tumbling down, even as other midsize cities nearby, such as Yonkers and Bridgeport, are banking on similar stadiums to revive their own downtowns.

The decision to destroy the Coliseum reflects a shift in philosophy on urban planning, with Mayor John DeStefano Jr. choosing to focus on arts, education and small retail buildings rather than on large-scale public spaces.

“I think we are taking an approach that is smarter about what works in building a city,” Mr. DeStefano said. Some people still like the idea of big projects, he said, “but successful urban life gets woven from lots of small things, not one grand gesture.”

Talking about the Coliseum, he added, “This was a particularly grand gesture for its time.”

When city officials first made plans for a downtown arena in the 1960s, they believed it would draw a huge number of people, who would in turn bring thousands of dollars with them. At the time, the city had grand plans to remake itself and thought the hulking building would be the ideal “front gate” to grab the attention of drivers along the highway.

But as early as 1987, officials and residents began debating the possibility of tearing down the 10,000-seat stadium and putting a shopping mall in its place. By then, the Coliseum was already losing money — about $54,000 that year. It stopped operating in 2002.

“There was no chance to make the kind of money that made it worth it,” Mr. DeStefano said.

While New Haven is scrapping its stadium, Yonkers is taking the opposite approach, planning to be the host of a minor league baseball team at a 6,500-seat stadium that city officials envision as the centerpiece of a $150 million development that will likely include several big-box stores. The mayor of Yonkers, Philip A. Amicone, said he hoped the plan, designed for a vacant parking lot in the center of downtown, would bring much needed revenue to his struggling city.

Bridgeport built its 10,000-seat stadium in 2001. While performers like James Taylor and Andrea Bocelli have drawn large crowds, there is little evidence that the stadium has boosted other downtown business.

New Haven’s plans for the Coliseum’s space are less grandiose this time around. After the rubble is cleared this summer, the area will be used for parking near Union Station, where Metro-North and Amtrak trains stop. By 2011, city officials said they expected to move the Long Wharf Theater from its current spot on the harbor to the site on Orange Street and also to open a new community college, called Gateway, there. City officials also hope to build several stores and housing units adjacent to the existing retail area across the street.

New Haven’s new $230 million plans to redevelop the Coliseum site have not attracted much attention — the real fanfare is about the implosion, which has been delayed for the last two years. It might lack the significance of other famous demolitions — say the Berlin Wall or the London Bridge — but residents here were preparing for the Saturday morning destruction of the building with a similar kind of nostalgic excitement.

Traffic along Interstates 95 and 91 is to be stopped Saturday morning from 7:15 to 7:45. Some 15,000 tires will be placed around the Coliseum to absorb the impact of more than 2,200 pounds of explosives. City planners said that the rubble could be about 50 feet high, though it is impossible to predict exactly what the destroyed building will look like.

And that, of course, is part of the draw.

City officials are expecting hundreds of people to show up for a view from the top of the Temple Street parking garage, the city’s official observation spot. Tower One, a senior citizen housing complex that, at 20 stories, is one of the largest buildings downtown, is expecting dozens of visitors. Other event-watching plans include more than a few illicit rooftop parties.

At Artspace art gallery, a few miles from the Coliseum, plans were to stay open all night Friday and offer an open microphone and free hot chocolate to anyone who comes by. “We’ll be a refuge for a lot of onlookers, I think, but I have no idea how many,” said Helen Kauder, the executive director. “We just thought why not be a part of history?”

Onlookers were encouraged to gather early and be ready at precisely 7:30 a.m. And to try not to blink.

“Whatever will happen, it will take place very quickly,” said Stephen Goldblum, the owner of Stamford Wrecking Company, which is overseeing the demolition. “Gravity doesn’t take very long.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

January 20th, 2007, 09:41 AM
New Haven implodes downtown coliseum
Associated Press
Published January 20 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Veterans Memorial Coliseum came down in a matter of seconds in a thunderous implosion Saturday morning that drew more than a thousand people who exchanged memories about the sports and concert venue.

The 35-year-old arena, which hosted concerts by Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra as well as minor league hockey and wrestling matches, was razed at 7:50 a.m. to make way for downtown redevelopment.

"I feel sad to see it go," Mayor John DeStefano said. "Just seeing it come down this way, whatever mixed feelings we had, it's still sad."

Crowds gathered at a nearby parking garage to watch the implosion. The weather was cold but skies were clear.

"I've seen many hockey games and concerts at the coliseum, and it's sad to see a landmark in New Haven leaving us," said Ed Seward, 50, of East Haven.

Others were happy that the building, which was an eyesore to many, was demolished.

"The first time I came to New Haven, I thought it was so very ugly. I'm glad to see it go. It's not a pretty site," said Linda Young, 32, of New Haven.

The implosion, which was delayed for 20 minutes as police and firefighters removed people from unsafe areas, created a huge dust cloud that drifted away with the wind and left behind piles of metal and other debris.

The site will be used for more housing and taxable properties and will enhance New Haven's role as the cultural arts capital of Connecticut.

The new development will create thousands of construction jobs, millions of dollars in new taxes and additional spending by bringing college students and theater visitors downtown, officials say.

Crews trucked in more than 15,000 rented tires to absorb the impact and traffic at the busy Interstate 95/91 interchange was stopped so drivers weren't startled by the noise and vibrations. About 2,000 pounds of explosives were used to bring it down.

Much of the building had already been dismantled before the implosion, which left behind 50-foot piles of rubble.

Within a few months, the debris will be cleared and the area will be paved as a temporary parking lot until New Haven embarks on its next development.

Gateway Community College and Long Wharf Theatre will move from the outskirts of the city to the coliseum site and an adjacent property. Those moves are part of a $230 million development project that also includes stores and up to 280 housing units.

January 20th, 2007, 10:26 AM
After the rubble is cleared this summer, the area will be used for parking
But of course !

January 20th, 2007, 02:21 PM
The Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New Haven comes down
in a cloud of dust Saturday morning ...

AEROPIX by Morgan Kaolian

http://www.connpost.com/localnews/ci_5052690 (http://www.connpost.com/localnews/ci_5052690)





January 20th, 2007, 03:11 PM
I saw dozens of events at the Coliseum over the past 30 years, lots of good times. Here are some pictures I took this morning. We were pretty close, but I guess I'm pretty short.



January 20th, 2007, 03:25 PM
Chris -- thanks for the pics ...

I watched the vid of the implosion HERE (http://www.connpost.com/localnews/ci_5052690) and saw everybody running from the dust cloud ...

Looked kinda nasty :eek:

What was the experience like for you?

January 21st, 2007, 10:47 AM
On December 9, 1967, Morrison was arrested at a concert in New Haven for breach of peace, resisting arrest, and indecent exposure.
Here's where the trouble started ...

Jim Morrison in high school -- A Florida education-related Public Service Announcement ...



January 21st, 2007, 11:12 AM
What was the experience like for you?My wife and I arrived in the area around 6:30. We thought about going to the Temple Street Garage where thousands of people were on the roof and sub levels. But after driving a bit, we found a good parking spot on Union Street, 1/4 mile or less from the Coliseum. We took a short walk up to the Coliseum but then had to sit in our car until 7:30 because it was freezing. 7:25 came and we walked closer to the corner of Fair St. and Union St. (http://maps.google.com/?q=New+Haven,+CT&ie=UTF8&z=17&ll=41.302128,-72.924596&spn=0.003845,0.010815&t=h&om=1&iwloc=addr) to see the implosion. We waited around 20 more minutes before it finally happened. Several light booms at first, then a few big bangs and it all came down. The ground shook under our feet. And then the dust cloud came. Reminded me of the 9/11 videos of people running from the WTC collapse, so that was a really weird feeling at that time of excitement. We walked briskly backed to our car as dust and very small debris rained down on us. It got in our eyes, mouth, hair, clothes but wasn't too much of a deal.

Check out this site for pics and YouTube vids!



January 22nd, 2007, 09:45 AM
The Coliseum opened, I believe, in '73. The Jim Morrison incident occured at the New Haven Arena, which closed prior to the building of the Coliseum.

January 22nd, 2007, 05:54 PM
Kevin Roche is a genius and it's a pity those without imagination have to resort to such acts of destruction. The tower that is a massive column(s) is now missing it's sister- the building that was a massive beam. Poetry for those who chose to see it.
RIP to a modern masterpiece.

January 25th, 2007, 03:54 PM
http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/misc/logoprinter.gif (http://www.nytimes.com/)

January 21, 2007
In the Region | Connecticut
On Renewing New Haven (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/21/realestate/21wczo.html?ref=realestate)

THE downtown residential market here has long catered to a reliable legion of college students who swarm the city every fall. Yale University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/y/yale_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org) alone is the source of several thousand graduate students who live in and around downtown, typically as renters.

Downtown living is also gaining new allure among young professionals and suburban refugees, however, as the city’s continuing efforts to revitalize the blocks around the historic town green yield airy lofts and stylish restaurants serving exotic cuisine. In one of the surest signs of the central business district’s resurgence, more developers are proposing to build ownership housing, a relatively scarce commodity that could help expand and stabilize the downtown population.

Over the past few years, officials have tried to lure the upwardly mobile into the city by encouraging the conversion of underused retail and office buildings into residential units, and nurturing an emerging funky arts district. Some $180 million in state bond financing is being used to relocate a commuter college and the Long Wharf Theater (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/long_wharf_theater/index.html?inline=nyt-org) downtown.

And in perhaps the most dramatic demonstration of the business district’s makeover, the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a 35-year-old downtown institution, is being imploded this weekend, to be replaced eventually by a mixed-use development.

Yale-New Haven Hospital (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/y/yale-new_haven_hospital/index.html?inline=nyt-org) is augmenting the city’s efforts with construction of a 500,000-square-foot cancer hospital at its campus at the edge of downtown along Route 34. Behind that structure will be a 200,000-square-foot medical office and laboratory facility to be developed by the Fusco Corporation, city officials said.

All of this activity has private developers “chomping at the bit,” said Kelly Murphy, the city’s economic development administrator. Nine developers submitted proposals for a 1.5-acre city-owned lot at a vacant corner of State and Chapel Streets. While the pending proposals varied widely — from a hotel-centered project that emulates the historic sections of downtown to a New Urbanism-inspired neighborhood — all involved a significant housing component.

One of the most important residential projects approved to date is College Square, a 272-unit luxury condominium high-rise to be built at the corner of College and George Streets. The developer, Robert Landino, says market studies indicate that a wave of people nearing retirement will roll into the city from the surrounding suburbs.

“New Haven’s time has come as the baby boomers get older,” said Mr. Landino, who grew up in New Haven and has worked on numerous projects here as the former president of the Meriden-based BL Companies, an architecture and engineering firm. These “move down” buyers will be looking for the kind of energetic “self-contained environment” that a walkable city like New Haven can provide, he said.

Scheduled to begin construction next fall for completion in the summer of 2009, the $115 million College Square will have about 50,000 square feet of street-level retailing, secured on-site parking and a 24-hour concierge. Condominiums will be priced in the mid-$500,000 to low-$600,000 range on average, Mr. Landino said; penthouse units will be closer to $1 million.
College Square holds particular significance for city economic development officials because it is the largest development to date of new apartments for sale. Though some 1,000 units have been added to the downtown over the past five years, the vast majority were rentals, Ms. Murphy said.
Another local developer, David Nyberg, has proposed about 100 condominiums in the Ninth Square district at the corner of downtown, according to Tony Bialecki, the city’s deputy directory of economic development.

That project calls for converting two older buildings, as well as constructing a building on what is now a vacant lot. Mr. Nyberg, whose company is College Street Management L.L.C., has developed several other residential projects downtown, including the conversion of 900 Chapel Street, a former mall and office tower that now houses a mix of stores, apartments and offices.

The Long Wharf Theater is working on plans to move from its current location on Sargent Drive along New Haven Harbor to the former Coliseum site, along Route 34. City economic development officials are trying to link the theater with a major developer who will integrate the new facility into a large development blending retailing, office space and housing on the 6.5-acre site.

These large-scale developments were preceded by smaller-scale conversions throughout the downtown area. The market’s ability to absorb the new residences has been aided by the slow and steady pace of development, and the wide range of choices, Ms. Murphy said.
On Church Street, cater-corner to the New Haven Green, the Christie Wareck Company converted two early 1900s retail buildings into 13 SoHo-style lofts priced at $525,000 to $849,000. The primary lookers so far have been young physicians and professionals who work in the biotech industry, said Timothy Serpe, a listing agent for the properties at the H. Pearce Real Estate Company.

A block away on Temple Street, the Manhattan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo)-based Bow Tie Partners converted the long-vacant United Illuminating building, a brick neo-Classical-style structure topped by a clock tower, into 44 luxury rental apartments; a seven-screen art cinema, the Criterion, is on the ground floor. New Haven represented a prime opportunity for this “adaptive reuse” project because of the “paucity of high-end residential” properties downtown and a highly educated population, said Charley Moss, a partner in the company.

All but one of the units are rented. Rents start at $1,600 for a one-bedroom, $2,200 for a two-bedroom, and $3,000 for a three-bedroom.
The area still lacks the range of retailing needed to fully support walkable living — there is no supermarket, for instance.
But with more than 3,700 units downtown now, and another 350 to 500 likely to be created in the next two years, the population density is close to reaching the critical mass needed to support more major retailers, Ms. Murphy said.

“We’re at the cusp where they’re ready to take our calls,” she said.

Copyright 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)