It was built by Charles Gunther who was one of the towns early candy magnates, an alderman and owner of a civil war theme park that stood on this spot. It included an actual Confederate prison brought from Virginia and reassembled brick by brick. It's popularity was fading in 1897 when the hall was re purposed and renamed
The Coliseum over the years was home to a half dozen political and other conventions, hockey games, boxing matches, evangelists of every kind,bicycle races, Jimi Hendrix,Malcolm X, boat storage and an annual display of vice and sin called the 1st Ward Ball put on by the lords of the levee aldermen "Hinky Dink" McKenna and "Bathouse" John Coughlin.
It was the scene of a near riot in the early 70's during an interruption of a closed circuit TV boxing match after that it was mostly storage until The Coliseum was sadly demolished in 1982.
In researching the history of this bit of Chicago history we found this Hub Pages post most useful.
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