Greater Greater Washington

Development


Historic Uline Arena will become offices, retail and parking

For decades, the Uline Arena at 3rd and M streets NE hosted basketball games and concerts before becoming a parking garage. Soon, it will start a new life as offices and retail space as owner Douglas Development prepares to start renovations later this summer.


Overhead view to the South. Image from Douglas Development's ANC presentation. Click for PDF.

Miguel "Mike" Uline built the 11,000-seat arena in 1941 next to his ice supply business. Over the years, it hosted a wide variety of events including professional hockey and basketball, a speech by Malcolm X, Dwight Eisenhower's first inaugural ball, and the pro-wrestling debut of boxer Joe Louis.

Perhaps the most famous event there was the Beatles' first American concert in 1964, one day after their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.


Photo of the 1953 inaugural ball from the Eisenhower Presidential Library.

The arena closed in 1986. Eight years later, Waste Management bought it for use as a trash transfer station, but sold it to Douglas Development in 2004. When owner Douglas Jemal tried to apply for a raze permit, the Historic Preservation Review Board instead declared the arena a historic landmark with the help of Richard Layman, who served on the local ANC's planning & zoning committee at the time.

In recent years, the arena has been used as an indoor parking structure and billboards have graced the exterior and entry plaza. Meanwhile, the ice house is vacant.

Douglas Development plans offices, parking

Douglas Development announced their plans to start renovating the arena by September at a recent ANC meeting. They will insert 3 new floors in the building to allow for 140,000 square feet of office space and 60,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, since the underlying high density industrial zoning doesn't allow residential uses. They will also cut windows into the arena's roof to allow light into the upper floors.

Now that they have approval from the local ANC and DC's boards for historic preservation and zoning adjustment, Douglas has recently received permits for interior demolition.


Uline Arena today. Image from Douglas Development's ANC presentation.

The offices will have two entrances, a primary office lobby at 2nd Street and Delaware Avenue, and another on 3rd Street. Douglas Development has flexibility to modify the mix of office and retail space, for instance removing parts of the office space to allow for increased retail areas or taller rooms. They're currently seeking tenants for the renovated building, and it's still possible that a theater or other performance venue could occupy a portion of it.


Site plan for Coliseum project. Image from Douglas Development's ANC presentation.

Douglas will also build a 167-space parking garage on 3rd Street, which is slightly less than the minimum under DC regulations, but Douglas got a special exception with support from the ANC. Building a parking structure means they won't have to dig under the arena's thin concrete shell, which is as thin as 4" and has an unknown foundation system.

Above-ground parking garages aren't common near downtown DC. This will somewhat diminish the pedestrian experience and liveliness along 3rd Street. The garage's small size means there won't be room for street-facing retail. Instead, there will be a large planter box flanked with a long bench, while decorative metal panels stamped with famous scenes from the arena's history will hang from the side of the garage.


Garage facade. Image from Douglas Development's ANC presentation.

After 72 years, the Uline Arena will start a new chapter. No matter who occupies the building in the future, it's good to know that the past will finally be preserved.

Tony Goodman is an ANC Commissioner for 6C06 in Near Northeast/NoMA. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he is a Construction Project Manager with a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and has lived in Washington, DC since 2002. 

Comments

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This seems like very good news, although it would be nice if it could function again as some sort of performance venue. I wonder if there are any distinguishing internal features left to be preserved.

by Chris S. on Jul 15, 2013 1:17 pm • linkreport

Maddening that they are building a parking garage just steps away from a metro station.

So construction to start by September? That is good news if it is in fact true.

by h st ll on Jul 15, 2013 1:17 pm • linkreport

With the going rates for office space you would think that there is a need for more of it, but from my desk at 77 K St NE, just a couple blocks from the Uline, I can clearly see into two other buildings that are standing mostly empty and have been for at least 2 years. I am disappointed the developer couldn't find a profitable way to return the arena to its original purpose or at least something similar. As far as I can tell the city is lacking in amateur sports facilities.

by Ryan on Jul 15, 2013 1:17 pm • linkreport

Douglas Jemal does not get enough credit for what he's done for this town.

by Crickey7 on Jul 15, 2013 1:35 pm • linkreport

The parking garage is kind of strange, but I guess it is what it is. I am glad it is going to go to some use and I like the arches of the arena so I am glad they wont be going anywhere.

by Richard B on Jul 15, 2013 1:36 pm • linkreport

Velodrome!

I think residential/retail might be more popular than office in that location, unless they already have a tenant that wants a funky space.

by Greenbelt on Jul 15, 2013 1:40 pm • linkreport

Seriously? A garage on 3rd Street? That's awful. Do their plans obligate them to keep from making it a complete eyesore?

by 3rd St on Jul 15, 2013 1:44 pm • linkreport

@Greenbelt

I wouldn't want to go through the zoning process to get such a substantial change (light industrial to residential).

by Adam L on Jul 15, 2013 1:45 pm • linkreport

Just in case there were any GGW readers left who didn't realize just how broken and malevolent our zoning laws are -- even when you've got Douglas Freakin' Jamal, even when you want to build residences next to a historic residential neighborhood and remove industrial blight, nope! The zoning code says industrial, so instead of apartments with panoramic views of the rail yards, we get another parking garage.

by Tom Veil on Jul 15, 2013 1:56 pm • linkreport

Huh - Oasis Liquors (across the street) is sitting in residential zoning and they opened up that exemption (to retail) last year. Can anyone educate why this industrial zoning is perceived to be un-variance-able?

by BP on Jul 15, 2013 2:16 pm • linkreport

Douglas Jemal does not get enough credit for what he's done for this town.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jul 15, 2013 2:19 pm • linkreport

I'm glad it is going to be used for something. Although I always had a silly fantasy that it should become the new home for the DC Roller Girls.

by Abigail Z. on Jul 15, 2013 2:19 pm • linkreport

The zoning code says industrial, so instead of apartments with panoramic views of the rail yards, we get another parking garage.

Would you want to live in one of those apartments? I don't think I would.

by Scoot on Jul 15, 2013 2:21 pm • linkreport

I heard an awesome rumor that it may still be used for sporting events, albeit non-traditional.

by Col. Brentwood on Jul 15, 2013 2:28 pm • linkreport

I'd sure live in those apartments, considering its less than fifty yards from a metro station and five minute walk from Union Station. I also grew up near train tracks, so the whistles and subtle rumblings would remind me of home.

I must have seen the roof of that building a million times when riding trains in and out of Union Station, and always wondered what it was. I'm glad it's being put to some kind of use, considering its location and history.

by Adam on Jul 15, 2013 2:29 pm • linkreport

Yeah, I don't think I would want a view of the rail yards either. I suppose it would be nice if the Uline could become a performance arena again, but given all the other established venues around here, I'm not sure it would fly financially.

Still, I'm glad the historic building won't be torn down. For years I've been looking over at that building, ever since I learned what it was, and hoping that something good would come of it. I hope that once it's redeveloped, someone (the developer? the city?) could place in it a small history exhibit that would mention its highlights as an arena.

(Incidentally, I'm not the same person who signed a comment as "Greenbelt" earlier. Just so everyone knows.)

by Greenbelt Gal on Jul 15, 2013 2:30 pm • linkreport

I would live there, the rail yard is more scenic than most streets

by Richard B on Jul 15, 2013 2:37 pm • linkreport

I think it would be really helpful to list the architects, who are Antunovich Associates. Jemal is also using them on the Hecht warehouse as well, so we can see how these relationships between developer and designer play out. Jemal uses Shalom Baranes a lot. Why did he choose a more retail-oriented firm here?

Also, SketchUp makes even the best project look crappy. What does this firm's built work look like? If we know what else they've done, we can guess.

by Neil Flanagan on Jul 15, 2013 2:39 pm • linkreport

I live in that neighborhood and am excited to read that Douglas is finally moving forward on this project. If priced right, I bet he would be lease the office space. I'm also looking forward to additional retail in that area. As is, the overhead train tracks still provide a barrier between the newer buildings in NoMa and the more established neighborhood east of the tracks. Hopefully this development will be able to help tie in the two areas more so than today.

I wonder, though, which retail businesses would want to front Delaware Avenue? Right across the street is the support wall for the train tracks; it is a lonely stretch of of street space between L and M Streets there.

by Josh Collins on Jul 15, 2013 2:59 pm • linkreport

@Tom Veil; yep, absolutely no chance that the tenants of the office building would want parking. Or whoever uses the retail. Or lives there. silly.

Or that the developer actually wanted the parking..

by charlie on Jul 15, 2013 3:21 pm • linkreport

@Charlie: I'm not saying that retail or parking will fail economically. Obviously, Jemal Douglas wouldn't bother with the project if it couldn't make money. What I'm saying is that if a developer thinks that a different proposal like urban apartments would be even more suitable, and that proposal doesn't harm the neighbors, why on earth should city law stop it?

by Tom Veil on Jul 15, 2013 3:47 pm • linkreport

Douglas Jemal does not get enough credit for what he's done for this town.
He originally tried to tear the uline down. Interesting no one's angry at the HPRB here.

by Bob See on Jul 15, 2013 5:42 pm • linkreport

@Greenbelt

I have been saying for years that the Uline Arena would be a perfect place for a Velodrome!

by NearNortheast on Jul 15, 2013 8:58 pm • linkreport

Take a look at 1430 north capitol st. 5+ years, vacant, stop work orders, half collapsed, the very definition of blighted. Yet.. look at his tax bills, never had to pay the proper vacant or blight tax.

You'll find a similar trend for many of his properties.

by mm on Jul 15, 2013 9:48 pm • linkreport

Swampoodle!

by NE John on Jul 16, 2013 12:01 am • linkreport

How about two square metal cut outs, one on top of the other, for the NW corner of the Uline?

@Josh Collins-I wonder, though, which retail businesses would want to front Delaware Avenue? Right across the street is the support wall for the train tracks; it is a lonely stretch of of street space between L and M Streets there.

I agree. Perhaps the wall between L and M on Delaware can be replaced with retail holding up the tracks. Even along M St. under the tracks retail can help bridge the two sides of the neighborhood. I have a hunch other major cities have done this before.

by Dave B. on Jul 16, 2013 5:55 am • linkreport

Actually, Waste Management applied for the demolition permit, not Douglas Development. Their intent was to be able to sell a vacant, fully redevelopable property. By the time the landmark application was heard, Douglas Development had bought the property (they probably were fine with the pending application as it may have reduced the price of the property) and they did not tender any opposition to the nomination.

2. With regard to "industrial" zoning, it allows virtually anything (churches, schools, something that I filed Comp. Plan amendments on, but was denied) EXCEPT housing. To build housing there you'd have to significantly modify the building/add to it.

3. Sadly, the building could have been brought back to a performance use, but Douglas Development never gave IMP the time of day. They would have leased-bought the building for performance use. Instead, they are now going to have a performance hall as part of The Wharf development on the SW Waterfront. My dream idea was always that a performance space could have come back to the Uline, perhaps in association with XM Satellite, which is located a couple blocks away.

by Richard Layman on Jul 16, 2013 6:55 am • linkreport

@Richard Layman

You're right about WM applying for the raze permit, not Douglas. That's what I had in the original draft, but I must have accidently changed it.

by Tony Goodman, ANC 6C06 on Jul 16, 2013 8:08 am • linkreport

Yeah... I'm not a fan that Douglas sat on this property so long, let it fall into extreme disrepair, and installed illegal billboards on it.

Also not a fan that one of the more unique pieces of architecture in NE is being converted into more boring office space. I'd rather have a unique event space than another block of lobbying firms...

That all being said, I'm happy that Near Northeast is taking off -- I've lived in the neighborhood for several years, and the changes have been incredible to watch. Unfortunately, this will be my last month living here, as my landlord is converting my apartment building into luxury condos that are completely out of reach for me.

I guess all of this progress is coming at a price... I'm gonna miss the place.

by andrew on Jul 16, 2013 9:45 am • linkreport

andrew -- trinidad... much of lower trinidad will be an easy walk to the streetcar (from 12th to 14th Streets for sure, but even up around WV and Florida Avenues, up to Neal). It's probably still somewhat tough, but it will definitely take off once the streetcar is running.

by Richard Layman on Jul 16, 2013 11:55 am • linkreport

I hope that, at the very least, the office space will be brokered toward design-based tenants -- architects, engineers, tech start-ups and the like -- to complement the historic nature of the site, like many of the design firms located in Georgetown's historic warehouses. I'm not sure why that seems like a better fit than a CPA or mortgage broker, but it just seems like it would continue to help boost the overall community.

by VADC on Jul 16, 2013 12:36 pm • linkreport

There's two aspects of the arena that would make it difficult to convert into residential. The first is that it is a tricky structural problem to cut a lot of holes in the arched roof to provide light and views of the railyard for new residences. And the more transformation that is made to the barrel roof, the less resemblance to the landmarked building. The second aspect is that those arches were built to span a large open volume of space, which means that the new floors inside will contain a lot of windowless interior space that is unsuitable for residential use.

by John H on Jul 16, 2013 3:12 pm • linkreport

This building got declared historical? How did that happen. It was built in 1941. What is so historical about this building or 1941 construction. The city really needs to do something about the HPRB. To many people using it as a tool to stop things instead of actually preserving historical buildings. I could build a building next week and call it historical if I knew the right hands to grease on the HPRB

by mona on Jul 16, 2013 3:20 pm • linkreport

Mona,

You might have missed this part of the article: Miguel "Mike" Uline built the 11,000-seat arena in 1941 next to his ice supply business. Over the years, it hosted a wide variety of events including professional hockey and basketball, a speech by Malcolm X, Dwight Eisenhower's first inaugural ball, and the pro-wrestling debut of boxer Joe Louis.

Perhaps the most famous event there was the Beatles' first American concert in 1964, one day after their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show."

The building represents more than just a little history of significance to the city and the country.

by just me on Jul 16, 2013 7:05 pm • linkreport

Does this mean Mr Jemal’s hideously illegal billboards will finally come down (there, anyway)? Good thing there remain plenty of other reminders of his status as a lifelong outlaw.

Oh, and yes: new tenants will need parking there. How else will they hide the cars they keep registered out-of-state?

by Sydney P on Jul 17, 2013 9:28 am • linkreport

Oh wow I subletted right there and never knew what that building was but I was always curious.

by Alan B. on Jul 17, 2013 2:39 pm • linkreport

Tom, having lived next to train tracks, I can't really call it an amenity. Sure you get used to the 3am whistles but I do not miss them.

by Alan B. on Jul 17, 2013 2:44 pm • linkreport

@Alan B, Scoot

Perhaps you wouldn't want to live there but why should that prevent a developer from deciding that someone would want to live there and building housing?

by MLD on Jul 17, 2013 2:50 pm • linkreport

Re: Antunovich. My gut reaction to their Chicago work is that it was pedestrian: they do above-average background buildings. There's a lot of plasticky precast concrete/masonry, and the details can get cartoonish, but the proportions and fenestration are usually okay. You'll note that they've done many buildings at DePaul's campus: it's certainly better for it, but the new buildings are a friendlier shade of forgettable.

by Payton on Jul 18, 2013 12:51 am • linkreport

I looked for the nomination online to read about more of the history and it shows that the DC Preservation League was the sponsor for historic designation. Guess Richard Layman must have been volunteering for them at the time?

by Lisa on Jul 18, 2013 10:33 am • linkreport

mona, I just want to point out that age is only one factor in something being historical. Some would argue that the 9/11 site was of historical significance by noon on that day.

by David C on Jul 18, 2013 11:01 am • linkreport

This is so sad and what a waste of what could be a very cool space. Parking garage next to the metro and facing 3rd where we should be trying to promote walk-ability and liveliness? Office space in what should be a performance venue? NoMa will soon turn into downtown with nothing to offer a vibrant community after business hours.

by VR on Jul 18, 2013 12:19 pm • linkreport

Agreed. Parking garage is silly . . .it's RIGHT NEXT TO THE METRO. Folks . . . TAKE THE METRO. Parking garage is going to increase traffic into our neighborhood, which is going to lead to a widening of roads. And if the building is all offices the retail in the building will cater to those offices. So things like crappy lunch spots that close at 6pm.

this is terrible.

by annoyed on Jul 18, 2013 12:35 pm • linkreport

I really like that they are incorporating office and retail throughout the historic buildings. While I am not a fan of the need for a parking garage. It's size is not overwhelming and as shown by the renderings, the 3rd street side does not look like a parking garage and the combination does promote walk-ability and liveliness.

by Just me on Jul 18, 2013 12:41 pm • linkreport

A 107 car garage is not going to cause any major impacts to traffic in the area and roads won't need to be widened. Given the density of residences around the area and what is continuing to be added, there is sufficient demand for the retail to stay open late. This is not downtown, this is the edge of Ivy city and townhomes.

by Just Me on Jul 18, 2013 12:54 pm • linkreport

Just Me: The edge of Ivy City?!? There's a LOT between the Uline and Ivy City. It's like 8/10 of a mile as the crow flies to get from the Uline to Ivy City.

Let's try to be accurate here, please.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jul 18, 2013 1:01 pm • linkreport

Okay-on the edge of Trinidad and townhomes

by Just Me on Jul 18, 2013 1:07 pm • linkreport

Just Me: It's not on the edge of Trinidad either, but at least you're trying. :)

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jul 18, 2013 1:12 pm • linkreport

Unfortunately Mr. Hatchard, you are not trying to be helpful. Its on teh edge of townhomes that are part of a neighborhood. Please identify that neighborhood for me and the rest of the GGW readers.

by Just Me on Jul 18, 2013 1:30 pm • linkreport

Just Me: It's called Near Northeast.

I'm sorry, I'll refrain from friendly ribbing in the future. My deepest apologies to you.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jul 18, 2013 1:33 pm • linkreport

@Geoffrey Hatchard: "Just Me: The edge of Ivy City?!? There's a LOT between the Uline and Ivy City. It's like 8/10 of a mile as the crow flies to get from the Uline to Ivy City."

Geoffrey, just how would you define the borders of Ivy City (and Trinidad, too, for that matter)? I have my own ideas/proposals but let's hear yours first.

by DaveG on Jul 19, 2013 11:40 am • linkreport

DaveG: It's not my ideas, it's how they're defined by the neighborhoods and their civic groups themselves.

Trinidad is the easiest. It's one of the few neighborhoods in the city with extremely well-defined boundaries that are almost universally accepted. Florida Avenue on the south, West Virginia Avenue on the west, Bladensburg Road on the east, and Mt. Olivet Road on the north.

Ivy City is slightly less clear to those unfamiliar with it, but many agree on the boundaries that you can see on the map that used to grace the Ivy City Voice, a neighborhood newsletter (see page 5 of this PDF: http://www.wdchumanities.org/docs/hrc/ivycitybooklet.pdf) - West Virginia Avenue on the east, New York Avenue on the north/west, and Gallaudet University to the south/west. That includes the triangle of homes that lies on the southwest corner of Mount Olivet Road and West Virginia Avenue. Some mistakenly believe this is part of Trinidad, and many just leave it out of both neighborhoods, but it's history has always been as part of Ivy City.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jul 19, 2013 1:07 pm • linkreport

Geoffrey, OK that makes sense. What about the surrounding areas that don't seem to be included in any specific neighborhood? I'm talking about the overall area bounded by New York Ave, Bladensburg Rd. and Florida Ave. I realize it's mostly industrial, Florida Ave. market, Gallaudet U., etc. but shouldn't it all go somewhere? Google maps treats Trinidad like this: http://goo.gl/maps/MtcMh and Ivy City like this, to include all of the rail yard across NY Ave: http://goo.gl/maps/udsje

by DaveG on Jul 19, 2013 1:42 pm • linkreport

Maybe an expanded Ivy City could comprise everything within NY Ave/WV Ave/FL Ave? Except maybe the part completely west of the railroad/Metro tracks...

by DaveG on Jul 19, 2013 1:44 pm • linkreport

DaveG: My only response would be that everything doesn't have to be in a neighborhood. The university is the university - no need to place it in a "neighborhood." The same with the cemetery. As for the other industrial space? Perhaps someday it will develop into something that gets designated with some sort of neighborhood name. Maybe that'll include grafting onto some other existing neighborhood. I have no idea.

Regarding Google Maps treatment of neighborhoods - that's all user generated. Perhaps I'll take the time someday and correct it as I see fit. Someone else may take the initiative and change things another way.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jul 19, 2013 1:51 pm • linkreport

I think you mean Swampoodle.

by Alan B. on Jul 19, 2013 1:58 pm • linkreport

You mean "not everything has to be in a neighborhood." Sorry but that sort of misuse of English has always bothered me :-)

OK I guess some purists might take issue with the creation of NoMa as a new neighborhood from Near Northeast. As distinct as it is from the rest of Near Northeast, and speaking technically, NoMa is only a Business Improvement District or BID. Then again, look how Swampoodle has disappeared...being absorbed by other neighborhoods.

Speaking of Google Maps, I wish they would fix the bike layer!!! (I've heard it's degraded due to migration to the new Google Maps).

by DaveG on Jul 19, 2013 3:39 pm • linkreport

OK I guess some purists might take issue with the creation of NoMa as a new neighborhood from Near Northeast. As distinct as it is from the rest of Near Northeast, and speaking technically, NoMa is only a Business Improvement District or BID. Then again, look how Swampoodle has disappeared...being absorbed by other neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods are just social constructs; they often don't have borders codified by any higher agency so they just change as perception of those places changes. "Purists" might demand that some place is part of 'Near Northeast' but if people start calling a place something else and that sticks, it's just as valid.

"Swampoodle" as a name disappeared because nobody identified with that any more, for a variety of reasons.

by MLD on Jul 19, 2013 4:23 pm • linkreport

@Alan B: Have also lived next to rail tracks. Not fun even with just a few trains a day. Evena block away is no picnic.

The building would need a lot of modification for residential and it would probably end up looking a little ridiculous for it, as well as rather expensive. This seems like a reasonable compromise. The garage is not going to make a huge impact on the area.

by Rich on Jul 19, 2013 9:23 pm • linkreport

They need to make the architectural tribute to the Beatles more obvious or more artsy or something. Images on the parking garage - which wasn't there then - is pretty lousy.

When I point out that aspect of the building's history to folks riding the red line, they're always surprised. They shouldn't be!

by Capt. Hilts on Jul 19, 2013 11:01 pm • linkreport

It's interesting how the street on the west side of the Uline Arena has kept the name Delaware Ave NE. Based on it being what remained of this street after the railroad went in, it's historically correct, although if it were called 2nd St NE it would be less confusing to the casual visitor. Just a local quirk :-)

by DaveG on Jul 21, 2013 12:26 pm • linkreport

RE: DaveG on 2nd versus Delaware

Actually, there is a sign for 2nd - with an arrow - at the corner of M & Delaware to help with navigation. But I agree, it's still confusing!

by Tony Goodman on Jul 21, 2013 10:26 pm • linkreport

Tragic loss of potential.

Uline returned as a performance space would have had huge benefits for the city and the neighborhood.

by Tom Coumaris on Jul 22, 2013 9:20 am • linkreport

The struggle to brand/name neighborhoods continues :-)

"How much does a neighborhood name matter? What happens when the Business Improvement District and long-time residents differ on what the name should be?"

http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/whats_in_a_name_capitol_riverfront_or_navy_yard/7345

(from today's links on GGW)

by DaveG on Jul 23, 2013 9:19 am • linkreport

I will also point out that many legally platted subdivisions do exist...and can form a basis for a given neighborhood name in many instances. Geoff, does Trinidad fit that criteria?

by DaveG on Jul 23, 2013 1:22 pm • linkreport

Aside from the show business history that has taken place at Uline Arena/Washington Coliseum,The actual building is of a quite unusual construction. Its roof is that of a self supporting reinforced concrete system.No steel beams are used. The only other structure with this type of roof is the Atlantic City Convention Hall built in 1929.
Because Uline was in the ice business and primarily saw the venue as an ice skating based venue,he "overbuilt" the walls of the arena space.The walls are reportedly quite thick and are of concrete block and brick construction. In the pre-air conditioning era especially in Washington, a 20th century patron might appreciate all that insulating masonry.
I remember reading a remark made by someone in the demolition business that taking that building down would require great effort because of the wall thickness.
Apparently even though all of the lower seating risers were demolished to increase floor space during the trash storage era of Uline, the structure is essentially extremely sound.
While many may lament that Jemal isn't going to develop the site as a performance venue,at least the shell will remain .
Uline sat about 8100 in boxing or concert configuration.By modern standards it would be woefully small and not in the least difficult to provide modern stadium amenities given that not even the restrooms remain having also been lost to increase space for trash storage.
As far as any modern notion of box seating or club level facilities one need only to look at the minuscule owners box/press box which remained at the time of the beginning of 2013 interior demolition and gives one some perspective on how little space was given to media or even owners in the old days.
In the same way that the Howard Theater has been reconfigured to accomodate both smaller capacities and dining, possibly some section of the old Arena cold be given over to performance use or at least a marker be placed at the spot where the stage sat on that February night in 1964.

by PJ Riverdale on Dec 10, 2013 11:17 pm • linkreport

Nice comment PJ, I enjoyed reading it.

by h st ll on Dec 11, 2013 8:05 am • linkreport

Thank you for this history lesson!

The bit about the roof is particularly interesting.

A friend of mine was in the 5th row of the Beatles' concert there.

Save it!

by Capt. Hilts on Dec 11, 2013 10:23 am • linkreport

This is disappointing. They should of just turned it back into what it was made for. It's a historic building & should be kept as a memory inside and out. We have enough stores.

by Annie on Feb 11, 2014 5:03 pm • linkreport

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