Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Chicago Coliseum History and The Doors Live There

Uploaded by ChiTownView 8/4/2013


The 1500 block of south Wabash is a quiet unassuming part of the south loop. There is peacefulness to it that masks a grand structure that once dominated this block. It was an immense exhibition hall called the Coliseum. This location is the best known of the three halls to bear that name in Chicago history. 

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. http://e-five.hubpages.com/hub/Star-C...

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In researching the Coliseum I came across a couple of clips on YouTube of the Doors playing there in 1968.






 
In research

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