Chicago’s Soldier Field- Modern-day War Memorial
Soldier Field was unveiled on November 11, 1924, and has been home to the Chicago Bears since 1971. It seats over 61,000 and is the oldest stadium in the National Football League. It is designed along the Greco Roman architectural lines with imposing columns at its entrance. One of the first sporting events it played host to was the 1926 Army-Navy football rivalry.
At the North End of Soldier Field stands the imposing War Memorial with a dedication to soldiers and sailors on one side and to President John F. Kennedy on the other. Perched on the side of the North entrance of the stadium, sits the impressive Memorial Waterfall. Highly polished green granite makes up the eight huge medallions that pay tribute to the various military branches. Inside the courtyard of the South entrance are imposing columns with painted leaves on the wall that are gently falling as people are inspired to remember those who have fallen in battle. Benches with inspiring quotes and military awards carved into the backrests offer a brief respite for those who wish to take a moment to contemplate the glorious and thoughtful architecture.
The famous statue of the American Doughboy rallies the troops and has been recently restored. The statue was completed in the early part of the 1930’s and is composed of cast bronze and sheet metal and stands nearly six feet tall. It is dedicated to the memory of American soldiers who fought in World War One. The soldier is envisioned charging out of the trenches armed with a grenade and his trusty rifle. The statue was created by E.M. Viquesney of Indiana and had originally stood in GarfieldPark.
Some recent additions include the Children’s Garden and the 33-foot tall Sledding Hill. The hill slopes at a grade of 220 feet and the Garden is a plain and simple wonder of nature. Both have been a favorite gathering place for families for many years.
Soldier Field continues to play host to world athletic events, concerts, football, and special events and is considered to be one of the most beloved landmarks in the Windy City.