A friend sent me this vintage postcard depicting the old Chicago Stadium.
I love seeing the old stadium. The stadium was opened in 1929 for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, who would later share it with the Chicago Bulls. The stadium was known as the “Madhouse on Madison” because there were three close-in tiers of seats full of cheering fans, with a large organ providing sound effects. It was the loudest, most exciting stadium I’ve ever experienced.
We call it the old stadium now, because it was demolished in 1995 and replaced with a newer building just across the street, the United Center, with an exterior modeled on its predecessor.
The old stadium hosted more than just sports, and it was one of those events that prompted the sending of this postcard. In July of 1940, the 1940 Democratic National Convention was held at the Chicago Stadium, and President Franklin Roosevelt was nominated to run for his third term. The situation in Europe was dark: the Nazis had marched into Paris in June and were preparing for the imminent launch of the Battle of Britain.
Here’s the reverse of the postcard.
“Greeting from the Convention,” from Arthur P. Schalick. The postmark is July 19, 1949, the day after the convention ended. Arthur P. Schalick turns out to be a local official from New Jersey who would later have a high school named after him. I like the green ink he used. I also like the trick of writing big when you have less to say. That got me through a few exams in my student days, so I recognize a kindred spirit. I imagine he sent a stack of these to supporters and contacts back home.
It’s very nice to meet Arthur P. Schalick. I’m glad to have his postcard. It makes me think of those days, and that great old building.