The Pontiac Silverdome

November 17, 2009

Abandoned Pontiac Silverdome - Pontiac Mi

Abandoned Pontiac Silverdome – Pontiac Mi, photo by Derek Farr ( DetroitDerek ).

Crain’s Detroit reported yesterday afternoon that an as yet unnamed Canadian company has purchased the Pontiac Silverdome for $583,000.

Ballparks.com’s page on the Pontiac Silverdome notes that at 80,368, the massive Silverdome long had the largest seating capacity in the NFL. The air-supported and cable-restrained facility was the largest of its kind in the world and is the first successful example of a fiberglass fabric roof system. From Wikipedia’s entry on the Pontiac Silverdome, I found this site dedicated to Silverdome architect C. Don Davidson. The site explains:

After working in the south as a prominent architect for several government and city projects, Davidson returned home in 1965 to a city that was slowly dying and stated in his own words, *”It looked as if someone had dropped a bomb on the city”. In 1966 he was hired at the University of Detroit to teach architecture and urban planning.

It was then when Davidson and his U.of D. class embarked upon an urban renewal project for Pontiac under the direction of Bruno Leon, Dean of Architecture.

You’ll definitely want to click through for drawings, press clippings and more about the Pontiac Silverdome.

Curiously enough, Derek’s photo appears on that site! See it bigger in his Detroit Ruins (and other cities) slideshow.

If you’d like a video look, you can check out the auction preview video (go to about 1:20 to get past the auction promo). If you’d rather just see what it looks like with laser lights and a rave going on, how about this video of Project Hardcore @ Silverdome in 2009?

One Response to “The Pontiac Silverdome”

  1. Ron M. Says:

    How sad to see a magnificent building such as this sold for mere pennies on the dollar, $583,000! Unless you knew of the vision and the dream that was before this building and the man behind it, one can not appreciate the reason this sports facility was built in the first place.

    To believe that the city of Pontiac did not have the wherewithal, vision and most all, the desire to promote and market this venue to generate much needed funds is mindblowing to say the least. I’m sure the city had at least one person with a little bit of vision and a sense of creativity! Sadly to say, most people these days simply go to work for a paycheck and have no concern for their fellow man.

    Kudos to the winning bidder! Just think of all the possibilities and how much money they will make from this edifice and the land surrounding it. Even if they should choose to tear it down, I would bet just from the 80,000 seats alone they could sell them and recoup a large share of the cost of their winning bid of $583,000 not to mention the amount of metals and alloys that could be sold for scrap. And everything else?

    City of Pontiac, Don’t even think about blaming it on the economy because you just lost, BIG TIME !!


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