The works of 1928 and 1932 from Holabird & Roche were certainly submitted by the office of American architects William Holabird (11 September 1854 in Amenia Union/N.Y.-19 July 1923 in Evanston/Ill.) and Martin Roche (1 August 1853 in Cleveland, Ohio-04 June 1927 in Chicago, Ill.), as Holabird and Roche had already passed away. The son of William Holabird, John Augur Holabird (Born 4 May 1886 in Evanston, Illinois, died 1 May 1945 in Chicago, Illinois) studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux Art in Paris between 1909-13, where he became friends with another American, [John Root]. Together they joined his fatherâs office. In the 1920s, John Augur Holabird and Root became increasingly in charge of the business.
The firm of Holabird & Roche had been founded in 1880 as Holabird & Simonds. Roche joined them in 1881 and they became Holabird, Simonds & Roche until 1883, when Simonds left the firm. After the foundersâ deaths, the firm became known as Holabird & Root. This is the name by which it is still known in Chicago, and it remains one of the better known architectural firms in the American midwest.
In 1928, they submitted a Plan of the Stadium of the University of Illinois. It was named Memorial Stadium to commemorate the universityâs students who were killed in World War I. The original plans also comprised a campanile, fountains, and ornate entrances to the stadium. The official opening took place in 1924. Their second entry was the Stadium for the South Park Commissioner Chicago. The Municipal Grant Park Stadium with a capacity of 90,000 seats was inaugurated in 1924 on the 53rd anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire. In 1925 it was renamed Soldier Field.
Their entry in the 1932 architecture competition, was for a Plan of Field House at the University of Chicago, which was realized in neo-gothic style in 1932 under the name Henry Crown Field House. It was used as an indoor facility for sports practice and included a dirt infield for football and baseball training. The building also contained a track around the infield and a raised wood floor for basketball exercises. The building was renovated and the interior converted in 1976.