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Visit iconic former boxing venue Blue Horizon

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Blue Horizon was once Philadelphia’s most iconic boxing venue. Now he is destined to be knocked down now, see him before his story.

Although Philadelphia is not normally considered a Rust Belt city, it is still full of abandoned buildings from the past. One of the most eye-catching is a historic 1,346-seat former boxing venue called The Blue Horizon. It’s a piece of Philadelphia’s long history (it’s one of the oldest municipalities in the United States and was the provisional capital of the United States while Washington, DC was under construction).

Blue Horizon has already been voted the number one boxing venue in the world (by the ring magazine) and was considered the largest large boxing gym in the country (per Sports Illustrated). And yet, today, instead of being the domain of heavyweight champions, it is the domain of doves and pigeons.


History and rise of Blue Horizon

The Blue Horizon was originally built as three four-story Second Empire-style houses in 1895. These were originally built as lavish residences and were later combined and then converted into Moose Lodge before moving on. be converted into a Blue Horizon boxing ring.

  • First build: The original palatial homes were built in 1895

It got its first professional boxing matches during the Moose era in 1938. It was purchased in 1961 and renamed after the song “beyond the blue horizon” (a song from the 1930 film Monte Carlo).

  • Last name: Of the song”beyond the blue horizon” from the 1930 Film Monte Carlo
  • Blue Horizon’s first fight: Between Hall of Famer George Benton and Chico Dorsey


The first fight in 1961 was supposed to be between Hall of Famer George Benton and Taylor Hill, but Hill didn’t show up. Instead, George Benton ended up fighting Chico Dorsey who he bet in a technical knockout.

Philadelphia big names include Matthew Saad Muhammad, Bernard Hopkins, Cyclone Hart, Tim Witherspoon, Willie Monroe, Boogaloo Watts and others.

Phili’s was a vibrant and thriving boxing scene that eventually lost the likes of Atlantic City after gambling was legalized in 1976. Atlantic City is a bit like mini Las Vegas on the east coast of New Jersey.

  • Museum: We hoped it would be turned into a museum


Over time, the boxing ring has struggled to attract crowds like it once did. As it became apparent that its end was near, there were hopes that it could become a museum and event space. But that ran into complications with years behind on their taxes.

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Mosaic Closure, Abandonment and Redevelopment Plans

But its glory days were numbered and in 2010 it closed for good (apparently due to tax issues).

  • Firm: Permanently closed in 2010

Post-closure, Mosaic Development Partners planned a hotel and restaurant complex with a jazz bar and fitness center on the site of the boxing facility. Plans called for the demolition of Blue Horizon.


  • First demolition plan: The first plan was to demolish it to make way for a Marriott Moxy hotel

The original plan called for the structure to be preserved, renovated and redeveloped. But later this plan changed to call for the complete destruction of the complex (except for the facade). From the ashes was to rise a 140-room Marriott Moxy hotel.

But that didn’t happen, and the facility remained intact (although Mosaic demolished the historic Edison High School in northeast Philadelphia to make way for a shabby new mall).

In 2016 it was reported by Abandoned America that the venue and upgraded boxing ring were still in remarkably good-to-pristine condition, with almost no signs of interior damage.


Related: The Catskills Was Once A Bustling Resort Region, But Now It’s Almost Completely Abandoned

Latest redevelopment plans

While in the decade since its closure in 2010, Blue Horizon seems to have been a survivor, its days may be numbered. Meanwhile, conservatives have worked to save this iconic boxing ring.

It was reported in July 2021 that the Philadelphia Design Review Board had voted to advance a plan to make way for a 13-story apartment tower. The plan is expected to preserve several historic mansions on the site. It would still mean the end of the arena itself.

Latest plans:

  • Demolish: Demolish the area itself
  • To preserve: Some Historic Mansions And The Facade
  • To construct: A new 13-storey apartment tower

For those who would like to visit. Keep in mind that this is private land and will require permission to enter the premises (never mind urban explorers). Being slatted for demolition, there are no tours of the facilities. You can see pictures of it at Abandoned America website.

Blue Horizons may be the largest abandoned boxing ring in the country, but America’s largest abandoned factory is the Packard Automobile Plant, which has been largely abandoned since the 1950s. is threatened with demolition.

Next: 10 Abandoned Places Travelers Must Visit (9 That Might Be Too Many)

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