Washington Coliseum

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Washington Coliseum
Uline Arena (Washington Coliseum).jpg
Uline Arena (1941–1959)
Washington Coliseum is located in Washington, D.C.
Washington Coliseum
Washington Coliseum is located in District of Columbia
Washington Coliseum
Washington Coliseum is located in the US
Washington Coliseum
Location 1132, 1140, and 1146 3rd St. NE, Washington, District of Columbia
Coordinates 38°54′18″N 77°0′11″W / 38.90500°N 77.00306°W / 38.90500; -77.00306Coordinates: 38°54′18″N 77°0′11″W / 38.90500°N 77.00306°W / 38.90500; -77.00306
Area 3.9 acres (1.6 ha)
Built 1941
Architectural style Modern Movement
NRHP Reference # 07000448[1]
Added to NRHP May 17, 2007
Washington Coliseum
Tenants
Washington Lions (AHL and EHL) (1941–1942 and 1944–1949)
Washington Capitols (BAA and NBA) (1946–1951)
Georgetown Hoyas (NCAA) (1946-1947 and 1949–1951)
Washington Presidents (EHL) (1957–1960)
Washington Tapers (ABL) (1961–1962)
Washington Caps (ABA) (1969–1970)

The Washington Coliseum, formerly Uline Arena, is an indoor arena in Washington, D.C. located at 1132, 1140, and 1146 3rd Street, Northeast, Washington, D.C. It was the site of the first concert by The Beatles in the United States.

It is directly adjacent to the railroad tracks, just north of Union Station, and bounded by L and M Streets.

While later used as a parking facility, it once hosted the Basketball Association of America's Washington Capitols, coached by Red Auerbach from 1946 to 1949, and the American Basketball Association's Washington Caps in 1969–1970. It also was host to many performances and athletic events of varying types, including ice skating, martial arts, ballet, music, circuses, and speeches. As an arena, it held 7,000 to 9,000 people for events.

History[edit]

The 11,000-seat[2] Uline Ice Arena, which opened in February 1941, was built by Miguel L. "Uncle Mike" Uline for his ice hockey team, the Washington Lions of the now defunct Eastern Amateur Hockey League.[citation needed] Uline built the arena next to his ice business,[2] in which he had made his fortune. The first act at the new arena was Sonja Henie's Hollywood Ice Revue.[3] Another of its earliest events was a pro-America rally in 1941 designed to promote U.S. entry into World War II, just weeks before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor[citation needed] brought the United States into the war on December 7, 1941. During the war, Uline repurposed the arena as a housing facility for U.S. service members.[4]

After World War II ended in 1945, the arena was restored for use as an ice hockey and basketball venue.[4] The Washington Capitols began play as a charter member of the Basketball Association of America in 1946 and became a charter member of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949; during its five seasons of play, the team used Uline Arena as its home court. Earl Lloyd, the first African American athlete to play for an NBA team, played for the Capitols at Uline Arena on October 31, 1950. The team folded at the end of the 1950-1951 season.[5] During the 1946-1947, 1949-1950, and 1950-1951 seasons, the Georgetown University Hoyas men's basketball team played its home games at Uline Arena.

One of President Dwight D. Eisenhower′s two inaugural balls in 1953 was held at Uline Arena.[2] Retired boxer Joe Louis made his debut as a professional wrestler at Uline Arena on March 16, 1956, defeating Cowboy Rocky Lee.[6][7]

Jewelry wholesaler Harry G. Lynn bought the arena in 1959 for $1 million.[8] In 1959, Elijah Muhammad gave a speech there,[citation needed] and Malcolm X once spoke there as well.[2] In 1960, Lynn renamed the building the Washington Coliseum.[8]

Beatles concert[edit]

On February 11, 1964, The Beatles played their first concert in the United States at the Washington Coliseum,[9] less than 48 hours after the band's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Tickets to the show at the Coliseum ranged from $2 to $4. There were 8,092 fans at the concert, which was opened by The Chiffons, The Caravelles, and Tommy Roe. The Beatles opened with "Roll Over Beethoven."[10] In 2014, Roe reflected that "the marquee didn't say anything about the other acts. It just said 'The Beatles.' It was all about them. But I wasn't offended. That's just the way it worked. I was there to do my two songs and then get off the stage."[11] The Beatles played for approximately 40 minutes.[citation needed]

Bob Dylan performed at the Washington Coliseum,[4] and the photograph of Dylan on the cover of Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits was taken at a concert at the Coliseum on November 28, 1965.[12] Chuck Brown also performed there.[4] In 1967, after a riot during a performance by The Temptations, concerts were banned at the Coliseum.[13][14]

Washington Caps – ABA[edit]

The American Basketball Association's defending championship team, the Oakland Oaks, moved to Washington and played as the Washington Caps during the 1969–1970 season. The Oaks were owned by entertainer Pat Boone and had captured the ABA Championship in the 1968–69 season. However, Boone subsequently sold the team to Earl Foreman due to poor attendance in Oakland. Foreman relocated the franchise to Washington.[15] Hall of Famers Rick Barry and Larry Brown played for the Caps, with Brown leading the league in assists and Barry averaging 27 points per game.[16] The team finished 44–40 and was eliminated by the Denver Rockets in the playoffs. Plagued by poor attendance, the franchise relocated again and became the Virginia Squires following their one season in the Washington Coliseum.[16]

From May 3 to 5, 1971, the building was used as a makeshift jail for up to 1,200 male and female prisoners arrested during the 1971 May Day Protests against the Vietnam War.[17][18]

The building fell into obscurity after the opening of the Capital Centre in suburban Landover, Maryland, in 1973, and it closed in 1986.[2] In 1994, Waste Management, the company that handles trash disposal for the District of Columbia, purchased the building, and used it as a trash transfer station[2] until 2003. Waste Management applied for a demolition permit on May 9, 2003,[5] and the D.C. Preservation League responded by listing the building in its "Most Endangered Places for 2003".[19] Waste Management sold the building to Douglas Development in 2004.[2] In order to protect the building from efforts to raze it, it was added to the official protection list of the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board in November 2006. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, on May 17, 2007.[20]

Formerly a popular spot for graffiti,[21] the Coliseum also has been used as an indoor parking lot, with the adjacent ice house vacant.[2] Billboards also have been mounted on the building.[2] In 2009, the Coliseum was owned by Doug Jemal.[22]

The site today[edit]

The building still stands today near Union Station in the NoMa neighborhood, which formerly was known as Swampoodle. In 2015, outdoor retailer REI announced that it would develop the property into its fifth flagship store and first store in Washington, D.C.[23] In addition to the 51,000-square-foot (4,738-square-meter) REI store, plans called for the fully redeveloped site also to house 146,200 square feet (13,582 square meters) of office space and an additional 17,000 square feet (1,579 square meters) of retail space for other users. The REI store opened on October 21, 2016,[24] with a marching band [25] and other festivities, as the largest REI store on the United States East Coast.[4]

Uline Ice Company Plant

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Goodman, Tony, "Historic Uline Arena will become offices, retail and parking," greatergreaterwashington.org, July 15, 2013.
  3. ^ "The Theatre: Ice Woman and Ice Man". Time. February 10, 1941. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Stein, Perry, "The Beatles played their first U.S. concert here. Now an REI is moving in.," washingtonpost.com, October 20, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Spencer S. Hsu (June 12, 2003). "History Buffs Fight to Save Uline Arena; Coliseum Hosted Dylan, Beatles and Malcolm X". The Washington Post. 
  6. ^ Mead, Chris (September 23, 1985). "Triumphs and Trials". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. 
  7. ^ Meltzer, Dave (March 27, 2008). "Boxers in wrestling a rich tradition". 
  8. ^ a b Mike Livingston (2001-04-13). "As decades pass, a coliseum's glory days go to waste". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  9. ^ "THE BEATLES AT WASHINGTON SPORTS ARENA". It All happened – A Living History of Live Music. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Marc Fisher (2006-11-27). "Saved: D.C.'s Beatles Connection". Washington Post. 
  11. ^ J. Freedom du Lac (2014-02-11). "The Beatles' first U.S. concert: An oral history of the day the Fab Four conquered D.C.". Washington Post. 
  12. ^ Olof Björner. "Something is Happening Here: Bob Dylan1965". Bob Dylan Yearly Chronicles. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  13. ^ http://wikimapia.org/601641/Uline-Arena-Washington-Coliseum
  14. ^ Ulf Hannerz (2004). Soulside: Inquiries into Ghetto Culture and Community. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-31576-8. 
  15. ^ http://www.remembertheaba.com/Oakland-Oaks.html
  16. ^ a b http://www.remembertheaba.com/Washington-Capitals.html
  17. ^ Mann, Jim. "Spirit Runs High in Coliseum 'Jail'" Washington Post, May 5, 1971.
  18. ^ Mann, Jim. "Coliseum Diary: 10-Hour Mixture of Ebullience, Boredom" Washington Post, May 8, 1971.
  19. ^ "Most Endangered Places for 2003: ULINE ARENA (WASHINGTON COLISEUM)". dcpreservation.org. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  20. ^ http://planning.dc.gov/OP/HP/Inventory%20pdfs%20alpha%20listing%204.1.2/Inventory_%20U.pdf
  21. ^ John Kelly (April 7, 2010). "'Graveyard' appears on roof of Washington Coliseum". The Washington Post. 
  22. ^ Dave McKenna (2009-06-25). "Inside the Washington Coliseum with Brett Abrams: If You Can Keep the Whole Building, Keep the Whole Building". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  23. ^ "National Outdoor Retailer REI to Open Flagship in Historic Uline Arena in Washington, D.C." (Press release). Washington, D.C.: REI. January 28, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  24. ^ "T-22 Days for REI Flagship Grand Opening and Block Party Oct 21-23". Washington, D.C.: Prince of Petworth. September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  25. ^ "T-1 Hour to REI". POPville. Retrieved 2016-10-21. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]