Soldier Field

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Soldier Field

Dedicated as a memorial to World War I soldiers, the colonnaded stadium known as Soldier Field has served as a cultural mecca for Chicago residents, hosting professional sports, presidential visits, religious events, and concerts. The architectural firm of Holabird & Roche was awarded the commission for the stadium in 1919. Construction on the $6,000,000 stadium (which was originally known as Grant Park Stadium) began in 1922 and was dedicated in November 1925. Though a centerpiece of Chicago's waterfront, the stadium fell victim to disuse and poor maintenance. Talks were initiated in the 1950s to bring a professional baseball team to the stadium, but it was not until 1971 that the stadium found a permanent resident in the National Football League's Chicago Bears. Plans for demolishing, revamping, or possibly doming the stadium continued until 1983, when the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building—with its classic columns and pre-cast concrete resembling slabs of stone—remains a magnificent sight along the shore of Lake Michigan and an anomaly among professional football stadiums.

—Michael A. Lutes

Further Reading:

Bruegmann, Robert. Holabird Roche Holabird Root: A Catalog of Works. New York, Garland, 1991.