Then and Now, Warren-Wolcott

1949–Warren Boulevard @ Wolcott Avenue, view east

2020–the same location

When it opened in 1929, the Chicago Stadium was the largest indoor sports arena in the world.  Because of the noise reverberating during basketball and hockey games, the Stadium became known as “The Madhouse on Madison Street.”  It also hosted political conventions, concerts, Mayor Anton Cermak’s funeral, and in 1932 the first indoor NFL game.  The 1949 photo shows the north side of the building, along Warren Boulevard.

The Chicago Stadium closed in 1994, replaced by the United Center across Madison Street.  Today the Stadium’s onetime site is a parking lot.


2 Responses to “Then and Now, Warren-Wolcott”

  1. 1 benson December 29, 2020 at 9:28 am

    I would argue the single greatest arena in the world for viewing a sporting event. So loud, and unlike the new architecture, even in the second balcony, you were right on top of the action. Yes, if you got stuck behind a post, it was bad, but outside of that, what a fan experience.

  2. 2 Marge in Maryland December 29, 2020 at 11:44 am

    My mother seemingly had a project in the late 1940s and into the ’50s of introducing me to all kinds of events, places, and restaurants in Chicago, funded largely by her change jar. When a significant amount had accumulated, we’d go somewhere new. I remember being taken to a basketball game and a hockey game at the Stadium but can’t recall whether the polo match we saw was there or would have been at some other large city venue.

    I have a more vivid memory of my first encounter with finger bowls, at the end of lunch at the fanciest dining room of the Stevens Hotel (later the Hilton) on Michigan Ave. I believe that was also the occasion when my mother started objecting to the tendency of some restaurants to seat a pair of females like us at an undesirable table (such as near the kitchen doors, close to a sizable “bus” station, or in some other kind of “Siberia”) when better tables were obviously available. Her standard line was “I believe we’d prefer another table.” It worked every time.

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