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The Rainbo Gardens Building

4812-36 N. Clark St., Chicago

Built 1928


This distinctive red brick and terra cotta building was demolished November 2003 for a 127-unit residential project scheduled to be constructed on the site. Host to a variety of amusements and some of the early twentieth century's best-known celebrities, Rainbo Gardens was one of Chicago's premier


recreation and entertainment venues. As early as 1894, the site was occupied by a small roadside restaurant. Later, it was the site of one of the city’s most frequented summer beer gardens and picnic groves, popular prior to the days of air conditioning. Shortly after the end of the First World War, Chicago restaurateurs Fred and Al Mann bought the building and changed the name of the place to Rainbo Gardens.


It was at the Rainbo Gardens that vaudevillians Ted Healy and Moe Howard asked Larry Fine to join their comedy act eventually to become “The Three Stooges”. In 1927/1928, the outdoor gardens were converted into an indoor sports arena, first hosting jai alai and later wrestling. In 1957 an ice skating rink was installed and since then roller skating and rock concerts have been its main attractions. In the recent past the building hosted such acts as the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, REO Speedwagon and Led Zeppelin, in the “Electric Theater” and the “Kinetic Playground".









Landmarks Illinois
Suite 1315
53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604 
tel. 312-922-1742 
fax 312-922-8112



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