Soldier Field, built as a memorial to the men who served in World War I, was completed in 1929 to 1930. The structure is unusual in that it is larger than most similar public arenas and it was built using a proprietary pre-cast concrete product known as Benedict Stone. Soldier Field was incorporated as part of the 1933 World’s Fair. Its monumental scale and prominent location on Chicago’s lake front have made it a landmark in the truest sense. In February, 1987 it was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Use of the stadium as the home field of the Chicago Bears football team necessitated a number of alterations, particularly in seating arrangements. Public facilities became overtaxed and outdated, and the installation of “sky boxes” altered certain visual elements of the structure. The most critical problem with Soldier Field was, however, the deterioration of the historic Benedict Stone façade.
HPZS was selected as part of the team assembled by Knight Architects to rehabilitate the interior and restore the exterior of Soldier Field. Our firm directed the restoration of the artificial stone façade and related elements of the two colonnades. Careful coordination with various contractors was a key aspect of the project.