Rolling Along at the Coliseum

Tired of the bleak winter weather? Roll along with us through a few images of the old Coliseum.

The structure type of the American “coliseum” is based on the architecture of the Roman amphitheaters, most notably the Colosseum in Rome, and shared its entertainment purpose. Whereas the Colosseum was used for animal hunts and other displays of strength, the American coliseum was more usually a venue for dancing or expositions of a more peaceful nature.

The Mansfield Coliseum was built in 1921 by local Rupert Cox at Luna Park (now North Lake Park) after the original roller coaster at the park was taken down to make room for the large structure. The building was the home to many a fun event for the community, from the regular availability of the roller skating rink to fashion shows, cooking expositions, and even car shows!

The first Coliseum burned in 1967, and was rebuilt, this time with a second story with a meeting room, and continued to be the home for competitive and casual roller skating in Mansfield until 2005, when the new structure also suffered a fire. The building was demolished in 2006.

Compare the structures of Luna Park in 1914 (left) and 1921 (right). Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, Library of Congress Map Division.


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