Schenley Park Casino

Schenley Park Casino

Infobox Stadium
stadium_name = Schenley Park Casino
nickname =

fullname =
location = Oakland, Pennsylvania
coordinates =
broke_ground = 1893
built =
opened = May 29, 1895
renovated =
expanded =
closed =
demolished = December 17, 1896 (Fire)
owner =
operator = Schenley Park Amusement Company
surface = Ice,
Concrete-Marble Mixture
construction_cost = $400,000 (USD)
architect =
structural engineer =
services engineer =
general_contractor =
project_manager =
main_contractors =
former_names =
tenants = Pittsburgh Keystones
seating_capacity = 12,000
dimensions = 225' x 70' ice surface
scoreboard =

The Schenley Park Casino was Pittsburgh’s first multi-purpose arena. The Casino was the first place in Pittsburgh where organized ice hockey was played. The arena's artificial ice surface was the the first of it's kind in North America.

The facility offered public skating sessions were held only on weekdays. The five cent admission included steel skate frames that were strapped over a person’s winter footwear. Saturdays were reserved for private parties and the Pittsburgh hockey club that evolved into the Pittsburgh Keystones, a group of local men from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Tech.

On December 17, 1896, an ammonia pipe in the icemaking department began leaking. Firefighters believed the gas mixed with grease and created an explosion resulting in a fire that consumed the equipment room in the rear of the Casino and spread to the ladies’ dressing room. Cold temperatures decreased the water pressure for the fire department's hoses, and limited access across the wooden Schenley Bridge gave the fire too much of a head start for firefighters to have a realistic chance of battling it. Dense smoke and heavy poisonous ammonia fumes forced firefighters to retreat from trying to save the main hall of the building resulting in the fire being declared unmanageble by the Pittsburgh Fire Chief.

A first many investors were hopeful that the Casino could be rebuilt. However they later learned that the $400,000 building was insured for only $75,000. The loss of the Casino led many local investors to look into constructing a new multi-purpose arena. Christopher Magee, the city's first elected treasurer focused local attention on the Duquesne Traction Company, an old streetcar barn less than a half mile away from the Casino. The devastating loss of the Casino hastened efforts in transforming the barn into the city’s new multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue that became the Duquesne Gardens. [ [ The Duquense Gardens 1896 - 1956 ] ]


External links

succession box
title = Pittsburgh Hockey Arenas
years = 1895 – 1896
before = Initial
after = Duquesne Gardens

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