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Chicago Coliseum

1513 S Wabash Ave.

With its sizable open space and proximity to the Loop, Chicago Coliseum became a prominent venue for sports, political conventions and big musical performances. Opening in 1900 and with room for between 6,000 to 12,000 spectators, an array of events were staged here until its closing in 1971. These included dance marathons during the Great Depression and the American Negro Exposition in 1940, which promoted the richness of African American culture. Major political party conventions were held at the Coliseum during its early years and the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team played here, but these attractions moved on to such emerging venues as the larger Chicago Stadium, which opened in 1929, and McCormick Place, which was completed in 1960. During the last three years of the Chicago Coliseum’s existence, it hosted an array of major rock performers and named itself The Syndrome. These acts included Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Doors and The Grateful Dead, making this a key Midwestern venue for pop’s counterculture at the end of the 1960s.

– A.C. 

Caption: Former location of Chicago Coliseum.

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