A Cook County judge dismissed the preservationists lawsuit, clearing the way the hospital's demolition, but he gave the groups another 30 days to amend their complaint. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
Prentice Women's Hospital may soon meet the wrecking ball.
A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the city Friday, dismissing a lawsuit by preservationists seeking to grant the building landmark status. They have 30 days to amend the complaint.
"This is not over. The court has indicated that. The court will be looking for further pleadings and we're going to be looking at and studying those too," said Michael Rachlis, an attorney representing the preservationists. "This is the opportunity for alternative use studies to be looked at closely."
Northwestern University wants to raze the Bertrand Goldberg-designed building at 333 E. Superior Street in order to build a new medical research facility.
"What we want to do is connect our new building with out existing building on a floor-by-floor basis so that we've got one big complex. That's how scientists like to work, and so that's how we want to build our building," said Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage.
The Chicago Commission on Landmarks granted temporary landmark status for the building in November, but Judge Noel Cohen ruled Friday that the move was not legal. He accused the commission of violating it's own rules, calling the decision "arbitrary and non-transparent." But he admitted that because of previous Illinois Supreme Court Rulings,"there is nothing I can do about that."
Northwestern officials say plans are in the works for a design competition for the new facility, involving some of the world's best architectural firms.
The building has been vacant since 2011.