"We can list our choices, one-two-three," Celtics general manager Jan Volk says. "Our first interest is a new, modern building. This place is not going to be here forever. Our third and last choice is a rehab. We think that would be only a short-term solution and would preclude a new arena ever being built. Our second choice, after a new arena, is to do nothing. That's all. Do nothing. Wait until a new arena is built."
Any of the three options is possible. There are plans to build a new Garden, plans and more plans, the latest a proposal by Boston developer Rosalind Gorin, in a group that includes Bobby Orr and former senator Paul Tsongas, to build an arena on the present site, surrounded by a mall, office towers and a hotel. Delaware North Corporation of Buffalo, owner of the present Garden, has a plan for renovation, also involving a mall, office towers and a hotel. There is also the other plan. The familiar plan. The same plan. No plan. Do nothing.
The Garden somehow survives.
"Back when this building was built, it was part of one of the most ambitious construction projects in the country," Mooney says. "An office tower on one side. A hotel on the other. The arena and station in the middle, connected to the other two."
The office building remains. Indeed, the Celtics' offices are on the eighth floor. The hotel, known first as the Hotel Manger, later as the Hotel Madison, was demolished a few years ago to make room for a federal office building. The demolition was accomplished on one Sunday morning, one of those now-you-see-it, now-you-don't calculated explosions of dynamite.
"We were worried about that," Paul Mooney says. "We had people stationed around the building with seismographs, waiting to see what would happen. We didn't know what damage there was going to be."
"What happened?" he is asked.
"One piece fell against one wall. It knocked a two-by-two hole out of one of the ramps. Other than that, nothing."