Hunt Armory Ice Rink Reopens in Shadyside

Hunt Armory Ice Rink Reopens in Shadyside

By Viola Aderholt, Aaron Ntoko (Freshmen)

The Hunt Armory Ice Rink on opening weekend. Credit: Hirai Shuda

As the weather gets colder, and the holidays approach, families often look for indoor activities to participate in during the winter months. Look no further. The Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Hunt Armory Ice Rink, universally called the Hunt Armory Ice Rink, reopened on November 9, and is ready to welcome you. 

The Hunt Armory Ice Rink, which is a joint project involving effort from the City of Pittsburgh, Highmark, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, reopened for its second winter in Shadyside. The skating season will last until March 12, an interval one month longer than last year’s opening.

The Hunt Armory is a building steeped in history. Constructed in 1916, the 46,000 square foot building named after Alfred E. Hunt, a Spanish American War hero and founder of Alcoa, played host to various big names as the largest venue in Pittsburgh until the Civic Arena, the former Penguins stadium, was built in 1961. Famous people and groups who have spoken or performed in the Hunt Armory include: Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Led Zeppelin on their first American tour. The Armory is currently on the National Register of Historic Places, has a Pittsburgh Historic Designation, and is a Pittsburgh Landmark, designated by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.

Besides public skating hours, free skating and hockey classes are offered from organizations like the Penguins, Dick’s, and U.S. Steel. The Hunt Armory Ice rink serves as the base for Pittsburgh ICE, an organization whose mission is to connect city youth with hockey. The rink is also offering an after-school instructional hockey program in partnership with Obama. On Monday November 28, hundreds of kids gathered at the Hunt Armory to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins practice and engage with them.

The Hunt Armory also serves as an additional resource for other local hockey organizations and teams including Hockey Sticks Together, Lean to Play, Learn to Skate, Pittsburgh Interscholastic Hockey League, Pittsburgh Amatuer Hockey League, and the Chatham University hockey teams. The rink will also host matches played by the Pittsburgh Warriors, a team consisting of honorably discharged veterans with service related disabilities. 

The Ice Rink may be familiar to some Obama students. Last year, multiple classes took field trips to skate at the rink. With its proximity to the school and accessibility by foot or bus, the rink may be used again for school reward days.

For those wishing to return, public skating sessions are held Friday through Sunday  from 3:30-5:30 pm at 324 Emerson Street. Admission costs $10, and ice skates are available to rent for $5. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

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