C. 27 11/25/09
Yesterday, on Tuesday, November 24th, a great Jewish figure in Washington, D.C.’s recent history, passed away. Abe Pollin, who was 85 years old, was best known for bringing professional basketball and hockey to D.C. Pollin was the owner of the Washington Wizards (formerly the Bullets), the Mystics, and the Capitals.
Washington’s professional basketball and hockey teams used to play in Landover, MD at the USAir Arena, formerly the Capital Centre. Pollin was responsible for the building of the Verizon Center, formerly the MCI Center (the new home to these teams) in 1997 and the transformation of Chinatown and its surrounding neighborhoods. According to Wikipedia, “the Arena is not only a popular venue for sports and concerts, but helped to turned “Gallery Place/Chinatown” neighborhood into one of the prime sites for commercial development in Washington.”
In addition to Pollin’s involvement in DC’s sports, he also had a history of involvement in the real estate market, building his first major project, The Robert Towers near the Pentagon and named for his first son. His final project, “a 500-unit luxury [apartment] complex in Chevy Chase, was the Irene, named for his wife” (Express).
Abe Pollin will be greatly missed by his family and the Washington Jewish and sports communities. May he rest in peace.