Located in the Near South community, and formerly known as Park No. 507, Coliseum Park totals 0.75 acres and features a playground, passive recreation green space, and a dog friendly area.
While there is no structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to check out our great programs offered at nearby Chicago Women's Park & Gardens.
This park is named in honor of the Coliseum, a famous sports area and hall that opened in 1900 on part of this S. Wabash Ave. site.
About a decade earlier, candy manufacturer and collector Charles F. Gunther had purchased a Confederate prison in Richmond, Virginia, had is dismantled brick by brick, and reassembled the building to create a Civil War museum on this site. By the late 1890s, the museum was not doing very well, and a group of investors organized to find a way to re-use old Gothic prison building.
An earlier Coliseum hall burned down in 1897, so the investors decided to convert the Civil War museum into a new hall for sports, political rallies, and other special events. President William McKinley dedicated the new Chicago Coliseum in August of 1900, and it soon hosted Wild West shows, political conventions, track and field and other sports events.
The Coliseum remained in operation until 1982, and over the years, activities in the building hockey, basketball, roller skating, and rock concerts featuring popular groups such as the Grateful Dead and the Doors. The Chicago Park District acquired the .75-acre site in 2000, and hired the Site Design Group to create a plan for the new park.
The landscape architecture firm took inspiration from the Coliseum building and created a cast-stone and metal entrance pavilion, playground, perennial garden, and passive lawn area for the new park.