Chicago's Noble Horse Theatre
May 2017 in Chicago’s historic Old Town district the last public horse stable in the city is gone after almost 150 years! Unfortunately, I was able to capture too few images of the Noble Horse Theatre’s existence and too many of its ultimate demise.
This livery hall and riding stable was built in 1871 where in its lobby a blacksmith shop and its tools could be found. It was a time when Chicagoans relied on horses for transportation. In 1922 and for 50 years more its riding hall was transformed into an elegant riding academy. At Lakeshore Stables people could board horses, see performances and take horses for trail rides through Lincoln Park. In the 1970’s and 80’s it suffered disrepair and neglect but in 2000 was restored. With help from a community group Friends of the Stables and the City of Chicago, it again sustained as a boarding facility and offered riding lessons.
In 2003 it began its final role as the Nobel Horse Theatre. Go here for a 2008 video tour of the stable and see the theater in action.
My photos show only remnants of this urban gem, like its weather worn wooden Coats of Arms painted in traditional colors:
- red – warrior, military strength
- white – sincerity, peace
- green – hope, joy and loyalty in love
We’ll never see the likes of it again but I hope you’ll go here for some glimpses I cherish from its day that will live on forever!
The history of mankind is carried on the back of a horse.”
- Author Unknown