Prentice Hospital to Meet Wrecking Ball

Chicago Landmarks Commission grants landmark status to building, then reverses decision

Friday, Nov 2, 2012  |  Updated 5:50 PM CDT
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Group Tries to Save Prenctice Hospital

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has thrown his support behind a plan to raze the Prentice Women's Hospital Building, but an organization says it has important architectural value. Anthony Ponce reports.
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It appears the old Prentice Women's Hospital will fall victim to a wrecking ball.

The Chicago Landmarks Commission on Thursday deemed the Streeterville structure worthy of preliminary landmark designation but then quickly reversed that decision based upon an economic impact report.

The final vote paves the way for Northwestern University to tear down the old hospital and build a new medical research facility.

"At the end of the day, it became very clear it was impossible to reuse this structure for the purpose and mission the university is pursuing," Ald. Brendan Reilly (42) said Thursday.

Preservationists had long fought to save the Bertrand Goldberg-designed building, at 333 E. Superior Street.

"Chicago is great because of its collection of architecture, and we shouldn't be destroying one and replacing it with another," said the architect's son, Jeff Goldberg.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier this week opined in a commentary published in the Chicago Tribune that the structure should come down.

The Save Prentice Coalition said on its Facebook page that it is "considering all options in response" to the commission's decision.

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