Friend of the Loyola Public History Lab, Liam Ford will be giving a talk on his book Soldier Field: A Stadium and It’s City at the Roger Park Public Library (6907 N. Clark Street) on Saturday April 19, 2014 at 1 PM. The event is sponsored by both the Chicago Public Library: Rogers Park Branch and the Rogers Park / West Ridge Historical Society – the Public History Lab’s partner organization. Following the talk, there will be a reception at the Rogers Park / West Ridge Historical Society two blocks away at 1447 West Morse.
Sport fans nationwide know Soldier Field as the home of the Chicago Bear, but few realize that the stadium has been much more than that. Liam T.A. Ford will explore how this amphitheater evolved from a public war memorial into a majestic arena that helped define Chicago.
Published in 2009 by the University of Chicago Press as part of its Chicago Visions and Revisions Series, Soldier Field came from Ford’s experience reporting on the stadium’s controversial 2003 renovation for the Chicago Tribune. As he tells it, the tale of Soldier Field truly is the story of Chicago, filled with political intrigue and civic pride. Designed by Holabird and Roche, Soldier Field arose through a serendipitous combination of local tax dollars, City Beautiful boosterism, and the machinations of Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson. The result was a stadium that stood at the center of Chicago’s political, cultural, and sporting life for nearly sixty years before the arrival of Walter Payton and William “The Refrigerator” Perry.
We hope to see you there on Saturday afternoon!