The Spectrum
Philadelphia, PA ~
February 6, 2009

Slated to be torn down later in 2009, the Philadelphia Spectrum has already given way for a new hockey and basketball arena that opened in 1996. Having hosted minor league hockey and continued to host concerts since the new rink opened, the Spectrum site is planned to yield to a commercial and entertainment complex that can generate revenue every night of the year, as opposed to just on nights when the home team is in action. The minor league hockey team will relocate to another city.

The Spectrum  is an example of the extreme neo-classical modern architecture typical of office buildings and entertainment centers of the 1960s and 1970s. Especially when illuminated at night it can resemble an updated version of  some ancient Greek or Roman building, in form if not in fancy. Inside (having only attended one hockey game and one concert) it was a cozy and pleasing enough place to watch an event. Admittedly, the one concourse serving the entire building (typical of arenas constructed in that time period), with bathrooms in the basement level, led to some claustrophobic moments. Ultimately it was better suited to minor league rather than professional sports, at least in terms of the size of crowds that it could reasonably accommodate.

I have been to the replacement arena, currently known as the Wachovia Center, which is near identical to every other hockey rink built in the 1990s. Oversized and not much interesting to remark about. These photographs were taken at a hockey game won by the Hershey Bears 5 to 2 vs. the Philadelphia Phantoms.

More Philadelphia Spectrum photos - page 2


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