Demolition Of Spectrum Begins, Making Way For “Philly Live”

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –With a few wisps of brick dust followed by a shower of broken glass, the demolition of the Spectrum began Tuesday afternoon. The iconic South Philadelphia sports and entertainment venue is coming down to make way for a newer, glitzier construction project dubbed “Philly Live.”

It could take at least four months to clear the old building, and judging by the ineffectiveness of the first few swings of the wrecker’s ball (above), that estimate seems accurate.

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erving Demolition Of Spectrum Begins, Making Way For Philly Live

(Former Sixers forward "Dr. J," Julius Erving shares memories with the crowd just before the Spectrum demolition began.)

A couple of Philadelphia sports legends spoke at the farewell ceremonies, including Julius “Dr. J” Erving (right), the 76ers forward during the late ’70s and early ’80s; longtime Flyers team captain Bobby Clarke; and Comcast-Spectacor Ed Snider, who indicated just before the demolition started that he didn’t want to watch.

Construction is due to begin next April on the scaled back ‘Philly Live’ project. Rather than the 350,000-square-foot, $100-million, sprawling entertainment district, phase one includes about 40,000 square feet of construction. One critic said that’s about the size of a typical strip mall.

Alan Greenberger, deputy mayor for economic development, says in a soft economy like this, it is very common for developers to build out projects slowly.

Greenberger says, “To basically get their flag planted on the appropriate corner and to show some early success, which will hopefully lead to further success and build out the rest of the project.”

The developer, Baltimore-based Cordish Company, says they are still working on the exact concept of the space. But they say it will include retail, dining, and entertainment venues, including a sports bar near 11th Street and Pattison Avenue.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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One Comment

  1. Hoagie says:

    Kevin: You’re right, they should have just kept teh building there vacant so Pear Jam could come in and do their 44th final spectrum concert. You obviously don’t know business. If it was up to you the Eagles would be playing in JFK.

  2. Dee says:

    Bruce Springsteen, Grateful Dead, The Who, The Kinks, Jefferson Airplane, Cat Stevens, Crosby, Still and Young, Eagles, Alabama, Fleewood Mac, I know there were more, but I think I was too high to remember. Even though it is being torn down, this place gave us some really great memories that we have for the rest of our lives to share with our children and grandchildren. What great times!!!!
    Goodbye and Thank You

  3. Tina says:

    Saw Alice Cooper there , one of the best shows ever, lots of great memories of lots of events….Saw the Hooters close it down last year…I’ll miss the place

  4. Mike in Philly says:

    It’s hard to believe this is being demolished to make way for shopping and restaurants…. I want to thank Comcast and Ed Snider for FORCING the public to have Comcast in order to view the Flyers and Sixers (the few who do anyway!)…The games belong on free TV, at least a large number of them… but guess Comcast doesn’t really know how to market it’s products and practices scare tactics to keep their customers locked into Comcast… I refuse to pay to have Comcast in my house, they are not good enough for me… they are actually an embarrassment to the city as far as I see it…wish the FCC would really come in and do something that is right for the PEOPLE and not the corporation…

    1. rick says:

      Grow Up Mike

  5. mark says:

    no happy wok will be there thu

  6. Lila says:

    What clown is running this wrecking crane? Holy Cow!!! A monkey could do a better job. I’m surprised he could even break the windows.

  7. Dutch says:

    Believe it or not, I don’t remember who or what event I saw first at the Spectrum. I’ve been there so many times, it kind of gives you a lump in your throat when you think about growing up in the 80’s coming here for sports, concerts, etc.. I drove by there today and it was emotional to say the least. I’m sure they will have something in the new building to remember the Spectrum. Out with the old in with the new, life goes on as we know it.

  8. Cassidy Ripley says:

    God Bless The Grateful Dead…….if I had my way I would NOT tear this old building down

  9. steven says:

    they didnt even really knock it down yet its still there me and my aunt and cousin went and they only put a hole in it

  10. Lisa says:

    It was great to see Lauren Hart sing the national anthem one last time for the Specturm. It was a nice tribute to her father, Gene, Kate Smith and all the Flyers and Laren Hart fans.

  11. Otto Greenleaf,Jr. says:

    My favorite concert at the Spectrum was Blue Oyster Cult and Rainbow. Adieu Spectrum!!

  12. Sean says:

    Saw the Good Ole Grateful Dead play there many many nights!! Probably one of the best sounding places the Dead ever played ! (53 sell outs!)

  13. Phillygirlg says:

    Goodbye to the Spectrum. I graduated from there in 1971 (Gratz high). I saw some of the most awesome shows, Earth, Wind & Fire and Heatwave, Prince and Luthor Vandross. OMG, I will remember forever.

  14. Arlene says:

    I now live in CA but the Spectrum was such a huge part of my life. More rock concerts than I can remember and best of all I graduated high school from the Sepctrum in 1968 (Northest High School). Also, who could forget when the roof blew off! The building may be gone but the memories will always remain.

  15. Bob Carroll says:

    Heartbreaking to see the Spectrum come down. All of the memories I have of buying obstructed view tickets at the walk-up window with my friend Scott, Watching acts like Prince, Def Leppard, and Poison rock there in the 80’s, season tickets for the Wings. I left Phily 20 years ago, but Philly has never left me. This is the last of the stadiums that I visted in Philly. RIP JFK, the Spectrum and the Vet.

    1. Dave says:

      Well said! It was sad when the Vet came down and sad now too with the Spectrum. Too bad Ed Snider and others didn’t have the vision to turn the building into a Philly sports museum for past, present and future generations to enjoy. Like Steinbrenner, Jerry Jones and others, it is just about making money and to hell with the memories and tradition these old venues have held. I grew up in that building attending many Sixers and Flyers games, concerts, WWE, the circus and more. RIP good friend.

  16. 1Pyro says:

    All of the buildup leading up to demolition day and the finale moment comes and what a boring moment it was! They could have at least had some fireworks.

  17. Regina Young says:

    I met and asked Darryl Dawkins to my prom at the Spectrum. He could not go but in was on the front page of the Philadelphia Sport section page. Thanks for the memories…

  18. Lauren Tight-Work says:

    Its sad to see it go but also good for my family. My uncle died in the spectrum 12 years ago from a massive coronary arrest. So it was a sad sight for myself and my family. But to think of all the jobs and opportunities it will bring to the city. I have tears of hurt and joy.

  19. Dawn says:

    When I was little I saw the Ringling Brothers circus, ice Capades and Monster trucks. But my most memerable time there was seeing Kenny Chesney perform on his Road and Radio Tour. The spectrum will be missed.

  20. Glenn L Nichols Sr. says:

    I saw my first concert back in the 70’s , ELO, It was one of the best! I took my kids to see the monster trucks in the 90’s. A great place! Goodbye Spectrum.

  21. Lee says:

    I hopped the Broad Street Subway to make my way to the Spectrum for more rock concerts than I care to admit. It’s a shame to see it go.

  22. calcynic says:

    I’m heartbroken…I grew up there. Got my rock n roll chops there as well as the Flyers, Wings and Fever. The Stones “Sticky Fingers” tour, Flyers vs Red Army, Hendrix, Dylan and the Band….and the Dead. This is a horrible day!

  23. Kevin says:

    Good news everyone, they are tearing down the Spectrum for a strip mall. Yes Ed Snider that is very good thinking. It’s always good to tear down history for something that will mean nothing. I guess its too late to stop it now.

  24. Thu Tran says:

    I am interested in space rental for a restaurant. Can you tell me who do I need to contact?
    Thank you,

Comments are closed.

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