The Uline Arena was a major entertainment venue from its opening in 1941 until 1994, when it was converted into a trash transfer station. It was constructed by Migiel "Mike" Uline, a Dutch immigrant and inventor, who became a millionaire through his ice business and sports enterprises.

The 9,000-seat arena was designed for Uline's ice hockey team, the Washington Lions of the Eastern Hockey League. Uline at first limited attendance by African Americans to boxing matches, but in 1948, after a five-year fight, he relented and opened the auditorium to all audiences. In 1959 the arena was sold and renamed the Washington Coliseum.

Over the years the arena has housed political rallies and speeches in addition to sporting events, concerts, and dance performances. Paul Robeson performed in a concert for Chinese relief and for the United Negro Congress here. Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad spoke here in 1959, and it was also a favorite lecture hall for Elder Solomon Lightfoot Michaux. In 1964 after performing on the "Ed Sullivan Show," the Beatles came to the Washington Coliseum for their first live concert in North America. Later, it was home base for go-go musicians Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, Trouble Funk, and Rare Essence. Audiences have come here to enjoy figure skating, jazz, rodeo (featuring Roy Rogers and Trigger) wrestling, ballet, basketball (especially the Harlem Globetrotters), midget auto racing, rock music, karate, and Indian ragas. In May 1971 the arena became a holding cell for many of the 12,000 protesters arrested during demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Events continued until 1986 when the arena was leased by the Christian Faith Center. In 1994 it was converted into a trash transfer facility. In 2003 it was listed on the DC Preservation League's compilation of "Most Endangered Places."


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