WBEZ | Prentice Women's Hospital http://www.wbez.org/tags/prentice-womens-hospital Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en After Prentice: Northwestern shows finalists' designs for new building http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-11/after-prentice-northwestern-shows-finalists-designs-new-building-109127 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/23.jpg" style="height: 564px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="" /></p>I spent the weekend eyeballing the three final submissions for Northwestern University&#39;s highly-publicized architectural bake-off to build the school&#39;s new biomedical research facility.</div><div><p>The finalists include three Chicago firms: Goettsch Partners is working with Philadelphia company&nbsp;Ballinger; Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture is partnered with Payette from&nbsp;</p><p>Boston; and Perkins and Will is going at it alone.&nbsp;</p><p>To make way for the building, dubbed the Feinberg School of Medicine Medical Research Center,&nbsp;architect Bertrand Goldberg&#39;s Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital is being torn down.</p><p>The winning design will be built in two phases. Construction of the 600,000 sq ft first phase is expected to begin in 2015. The space would then double &mdash; and the lab tower would grow substantially, as the Goettsch/Ballinger rendering above shows &mdash; in a planned second stage.</p><p>So what can we make of all this?</p><p>One look at the submissions shows why the university never would have reused the old Prentice building. Not that it couldn&#39;t have been, but the&nbsp;proposals&nbsp;show Northwestern is looking for a big, efficient, machine-like building somewhere between a hotel and office building in space, amenities and design. Prentice, with its concrete quatrefoil shape and relatively small size, was never going to be that.</p><p>Judging projects based on renderings is always risky, but here are some images of the proposals.</p><p>Shown above, the Goettsch design seems to me unimpressive on first glance. The angled windows reminding me of Helmut Jahn&#39;s two-decade-old <a href="http://www.lpcmidwest.com/our_properties/120-north-lasalle-street%E2%80%93chicago-il/">120 N. LaSalle Street</a>. But that&#39;s the problem with renderings &mdash; in this view below where the building meets the street, the design and the facade seem to have a lot more going for them.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goetsch.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 335px;" title="" /></div><p>Next is Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill&#39;s submission, which depicts the building after the second phase is complete. The undulations in the facade are good and one of several elements designed to bring natural light into the core of the building.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/asgg2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 630px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The small park nestled under this glass spine in the Smith and Gill scheme below is also worth noting.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/10.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 637px;" title="" /></div></div><p>Next, Perkins and Will&#39;s facade design is the most sculptural of the three, with the curves seeming to acknowledge the old Prentice building.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/perkins2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 840px;" title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;This next view shows more of a separation between the tower and its base.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1_9.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 840px;" title="" /></div><p>The new structure will be a complex building, the success of which should not be judged as a beauty contest. The true heir to Goldberg&#39;s advanced-for-it&#39;s-time Prentice would be a structure that is a game changer among its building type; one so technologically advanced in architecture, engineering, energy usage and function that it couldn&#39;t have been built, say, five years ago.</p><p>It&#39;s too early to tell which of these designs are able to do that.</p><p>Northwestern has been soliciting public input on the designs, which you can see and contribute to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/biomedical-research-building-competition/">here</a>. Trustees are expected to make their choice within a month.</p><p>The designs and models will remain on public display at the Lurie Medical Research Center, 303 E. Superior until 7 p.m.</p></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 22:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-11/after-prentice-northwestern-shows-finalists-designs-new-building-109127 Preservationists: Re-using former Prentice Hospital could mean more money, jobs http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-01/preservationists-re-using-former-prentice-hospital-could-mean-more-money <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS2508_Prentice%20Women%27s%20Hospital_Flickr_TheeErin.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Prentice Women's Hospital (Flickr/TheeErin)" />Preservationists who want to prevent demolition of the former Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital seem to be an unstoppable force.</p><p>They&#39;ve argued for the <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-demolition-save-bertrand-goldberg-s-old-prentice-hospital">architectural merits&nbsp;</a>of the Bertrand Goldberg-designed building. When that<a href="http://www.skylinenewspaper.com/news/11-01-2012/Prentice_denied_landmark_status">&nbsp;didn&#39;t pan out,</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/backtalk/2012/12/court_battle_over_old_prentice.html">they went to court</a>. Now, after winning <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/11/15/preservationists_file_lawsuit_to_ov.php">temporary landmark status </a>for the building in court, they&#39;ve brought out a different tactic: re-examining the bottom line.</p><p>All along Northwestern University has said tearing down the old Prentice and building a new research facility would generate <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2012/10/northwestern-announces-case-for-new-biomedical-research-center-on-former-prentice-site.html">thousands of jobs and billions in economic investment.</a></p><p>Now the<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Prentice/146981851986833"> Save Prentice Coalition</a> is following suit.&nbsp;This week they released a new economic impact study, commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The study argues that re-using Prentice <em>and</em> developing a new facility would generate more money and jobs than demolition and new construction.&nbsp;</p><p>The study claims the rehab would generate one-time taxes and temporary jobs, in fields ranging from construction to finance and insurance. And a re-designed, multi-purpose Prentice would mean 980 permanent jobs and just over $1 million a year in local tax revenues.</p><p>In addition to the study, they put forth <a href="http://saveprentice2013.wordpress.com/">four different </a>re-use alternatives for the site (one planning proposal and 3 building designs), which were originally submitted for a competition held last year by the <a href="http://www.iit.edu/news/iittoday/?p=9673">Chicago Architecture Club</a>.</p><p>In each of the designs, the Prentice building and its iconic, cloverleaf structure, play an auxiliary or supporting role to the main research facility.</p><p>Ed Torrez, principal architect at <a href="http://www.bauerlatozastudio.com/">BauerLatoza Studio</a> (and former Chicago Landmarks commissioner), says Prentice would still have an important function.</p><p>His design puts office and meeting spaces in Prentice. &quot;That&#39;s where that exchange of ideas would happen. So it would support the research labs but it would support them in a very strong way.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6891_BauerLatoza Prentice Rendering.jpg" style="width: 250px; float: left; height: 255px;" title="BauerLatoza Embracing Prentice (courtesy National Trust for Historic Preservation)" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The BauerLatoza design is called &quot;Embracing Prentice.&quot; The signature element is a towering, concave, glass backdrop to the old Prentice building, which would also provide sweeping corridors to the new research building.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6893_Kujawa 2.jpg" style="float: right; height: 250px; width: 250px;" title="Kujawa Architecture LLC" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://crkarch.com/">Kujawa Architecture</a>&nbsp;design involves a neat trick.The new building would be structurally independent, though anchored in a core that penetrates the base of the old Prentice. But as you can see, from certain angles it would appear to almost float above the base, like a card magically rising out of its deck.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6892_C &amp; W-scr.jpg" style="float: left; height: 250px; width: 250px;" title="Cyril Marsollier &amp; Wallo Villacorta" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The award-winning design by Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta also involves an optical illusion: kind of a now-you-see-it, now-you don&#39;t sleight of hand. Half of the old Prentice building would be encased within the new building (and visible via an interior atrium). But to a casual observer walking by outside, it would still appear as if it was still whole, thanks to its reflection in the new building&rsquo;s glass exterior.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Whether this latest focus on the economics of re-use will prompt a different response from Northwestern University remains to be seen. But a reckoning is coming: lawyers representing a coalition of preservationists and the city of Chicago are scheduled to meet in court next week.</p></p> Fri, 04 Jan 2013 05:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-01/preservationists-re-using-former-prentice-hospital-could-mean-more-money Judge's ruling will halt demolition of the old Prentice Women's Hospital http://www.wbez.org/sections/architecture/judges-ruling-will-halt-demolition-old-prentice-womens-hospital-103874 <p><p><em>Updated 3:15 p.m. </em></p><p>Northwestern University can&rsquo;t move ahead with demolishing the old Prentice Women&rsquo;s Hospital just yet.</p><p>A Cook County Circuit judge issued an injunction Thursday afternoon that essentially prevents the city of Chicago from issuing a demolition permit.</p><p>Northwestern University wants to tear down the building and put up a new research facility. Preservationists argue it&#39;s an icon.</p><p>Preservationists filed a lawsuit against the city and the Chicago Landmarks Commission Thursday to prevent that.&nbsp;The suit seeks to reinstate Prentice&#39;s landmark designation, arguing the commission didn&#39;t follow its own landmarks ordinance.</p><p><em>WBEZ&rsquo;s Melba Lara asked our reporter Cassidy Herrington what happened in court.</em></p><p><em><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F67582161&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></em></p><p>The lawsuit was filed the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Landmarks Illinois. The city Landmarks Commission had cleared the way for demolition in a Nov. 1 meeting.</p><p>But Thursday, Judge Neil Cohen issued an injunction until the decision-making process is further examined in court. Cohen said he was concerned that there was not a reasonable amount of time for the public to voice their opinions when the Landmarks Commission flipped positions during that meeting. Until the court decides whether the process was transparent, Cohen ordered a &quot;legal shield&quot; for the building.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><p>Roderick Drew, a spokesperson from the city&rsquo;s law department, said the city is disappointed by the judge&rsquo;s decision.</p><p>Drew added the commission believes it &ldquo;took the appropriate steps and followed the proper procedures.&rdquo; The city plans to file a motion to dismiss the complaint for the next court date on Dec. 7.</p>Coincidentally, a few hours after the judge&#39;s ruling, the Chicago Architecture Foundation held an exhibition Thursday evening that unveiled 71 hypothetical reuse designs for the structure.</div></div></div><p>Architecture Foundation President Lynn Osmond said before the court ruling, she thought it was &quot;game over&quot; for Prentice. But by the time of the exhibition last night, she said the mood had turned hopeful.</p><p>&ldquo;I think the architects and designers in the room thought that this was all not for naught,&quot; Osmond said. &quot;There is an opportunity to perhaps test the theory of Prentice&rsquo;s adaptive reuse.&rdquo;</p><p>More than 200 architects and preservationists met at the foundation&#39;s showcase, where they waited for the unveiling of the design proposal winners. Entries included everything from bridges, to urban green spaces, to a high rise on top of the building.<img alt="" are="" buildings="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/buildings are sleeping_detail.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 455px; width: 400px;" the="" title="Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta's winning reuse design, " /></p><p>Project team Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta won first place for their proposal called &quot;The Buildings Are Sleeping.&quot; The design would cut Bertrand Goldberg&rsquo;s symmetrical structure in half, build an adjoining new structure, and use the reflection in the windows to make Prentice&rsquo;s four-leaf clover shape seem whole again.</p><p>&ldquo;We are being respectful to Goldberg&#39;s building,&quot; Villacorta said. &quot;We don&rsquo;t want to detract from it, we don&rsquo;t want to hide it, we&rsquo;re more revealing it in a different way.&rdquo;</p><p>The design submissions will be on display until February.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 15 Nov 2012 17:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/architecture/judges-ruling-will-halt-demolition-old-prentice-womens-hospital-103874 In an historic meeting, city landmarks commission gives Prentice the thumbs-up — then down http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-11/historic-meeting-city-landmarks-commission-gives-prentice-thumbs-%E2%80%94-then-down <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F65842121&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ffe12b" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-030_1_0.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 318px; float: left;" title="" />The former Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital, a structure that has been the subject of an intense and national preservation battle, was finally given--albeit briefly--city landmark status Thursday.</div><p>But the designation lasted just two hours and 21 minutes.</p><p>In one of the most unusual proceedings in Commission on Chicago Landmarks history, the nine-member panel voted to grant preliminary landmark status to the Bertrand Goldberg-designed building, then hours later voted 8-1 to rescind its own decision. The second vote in support of the city Department of Housing and Economic Development&#39;s argument that preserving Prentice would harm Northwestern University&#39;s ability to build a major biomedical research facility on the site.</p><p>Commissioner Christopher Reed was the lone dissenting vote.</p><p>Normally, a vote in favor of a preliminary landmark status protects buildings for a year while staff from the Department of Housing and Economic Development&#39;s landmarks division does additional research and works with owners to decide if a permanent designation is warranted. For Prentice the process was compressed into a single afternoon, when DHED&#39;s managing deputy commissioner Mike Jasso requested--on behalf of his commissioner, Andrew J. Mooney--the landmark panel rescind its decision.</p><p>&quot;Let the process run its course,&quot; Jonathan Fine of the Save Prentice Coalition later countered during public testimony. &quot;How can this be a fair process?&quot;</p><p>Phil Enquist, urban planning partner at architecture firm Skidmore Owings &amp; Merrill said a better master plan for Northwestern&#39;s sprawling Streeterville campus could make provisions to save Prentice and allow for the construction of the research facility on one of vacant parcels within the district.</p><p>&quot;If we put the pieces together, everybody wins,&quot; he said. &quot;If you permit the demolition of Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital, everybody loses.&quot;</p><p>There were voices in favor of demolition, including the site&#39;s former long-time alderman, Burton Natarus, who credited Northwestern hospital with saving his life in January. &quot;That&#39;s not a good piece of architecture,&quot; Natarus said. &quot;It&#39;s not. It&#39;s unusual with the round windows....we have a [Yiddish] word for it:&nbsp;<em> Fershimmeled</em>.&quot;</p><p>The vote likely spells the end for the iconic 37-year-old building, 333 E. Superior. Northwestern University Senior Vice President Eugene Sunshine told the commission the school would begin the process of seeking a demolition permit within weeks and would &quot;move with as much alacrity as possible.&quot; Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) have recently spoken in favor of Northwestern&#39;s efforts.</p></p> Fri, 02 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-11/historic-meeting-city-landmarks-commission-gives-prentice-thumbs-%E2%80%94-then-down Prentice Hospital finally makes the landmarks commission agenda — but a few curves might be in store http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/prentice-hospital-finally-makes-landmarks-commission-agenda-%E2%80%94-few-curves-might <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/7100433457_88f10fc0e0_b.jpg" style="width: 619px; height: 464px; " title="Prentice Women's Hospital (Flickr/Jen Marie)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F65522052&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ffe12b" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>An unusual twist in the former Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital saga: A city department could likely find itself arguing for &mdash; and then against &mdash; preservation of the cloverleaf-shaped structure during Thursday&#39;s meeting of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.</p><p>According to a draft agenda of the meeting, staffers from the landmarks division of the Department of Housing and Economic Development are scheduled to ask the commission to pass a resolution granting preliminary landmark status to the Bertrand Goldberg-designed former hospital. But if the resolution passes, the department&#39;s commissioner Andrew J. Mooney &mdash; an ex-officio member of the commission &mdash; would then submit a report arguing <em>against</em> the designation, essentially asking the body to undo his own agency&#39;s recommendation.</p><p>&quot;...Northwestern University should be allowed to pursue its long-term plan for a medical research facility on the site of the former Prentice Hospital,&quot; Mooney wrote in the conclusion of the report. &quot;As a result, the Department cannot recommend landmark designation of the former Prentice Hospital and further recommends that the commission reject or rescind a preliminary designation, as appropriate.&quot;</p><p>A department spokesperson and others in City Hall declined to comment on the approach. A member of the city&#39;s architectural community, who did not want to be named, criticized the move but called it &quot;fiendishly clever, in a way. It gives Prentice its day in court while ultimately giving Northwestern what it wants.&quot; The commission&#39;s agenda, a beautifully-done designation report on Prentice, Mooney&#39;s rebuttal and a draft resolution citing the provision of the municipal code that would allow the preliminary designation to be rescinded or rejected <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/zlup/Historic_Preservation/Agendas/Nov2012_CCLFINALpost.pdf">can all be found here.</a></p><p>The move comes on the heels of an opinion piece by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that appeared Tuesday on the website of the Chicago <em>Tribune</em> in support of the $1 billion facility Northwestern seeks to build on Prentice&#39;s site, 333 E. Superior. &quot;It is clear that the current building cannot accommodate the groundbreaking research facility that Northwestern needs to build, and I support the decision to rebuild on the site,&quot; Emanuel wrote.</p><p>The landmarks commission could still vote to grant the designation, but such a move would seem unlikely given Mooney, Emanuel and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) &mdash; the former hospital is in his ward &mdash; support Northwestern&#39;s plan.</p><p>A group of preservation organizations called the Save Prentice Coalition had attempted for months to get the commission to put the hospital on its agenda for landmark consideration. Members of the organization were not available for comment late Tuesday. However, the group released a statement on its Facebook page saying the city&#39;s landmarks ordinance &quot;clearly and unambiguously&quot; states the commission can only consider historic and architectural criteria in its deliberations.</p><p>&quot;<span class="userContent">A building is required to meet only two of the [seven required] landmark criteria,&quot; the group said. &quot;Historic Prentice meets four:</span><span class="userContent"> it is an important part of Chicago&#39;s history; it represents important architecture; it was designed by an important architect; and it is unique and distinctive in its physical appearance.</span>&quot;</p><p>The landmarks commission&#39;s meeting begins Thursday at 12:45 p.m. in room 201-A of City Hall.</p></p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/prentice-hospital-finally-makes-landmarks-commission-agenda-%E2%80%94-few-curves-might Critic's vision to preserve Prentice is shaky -- but could have another merit altogether http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/critics-vision-preserve-prentice-shaky-could-have-another-merit-altogether <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/18PRENTICE1-popup.jpg" style="float: right; " title="Architect Jeanne Gang's rendering of a possible solution for Prentice. (Courtesy of Studio Gang)" /></div><p>You&#39;ve seen this week&#39;s idea by the <em>New York Times</em>&#39; architecture critic to save the former Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/arts/design/adapting-prentice-womens-hospital-for-new-use-in-chicago.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">by building a research tower on top</a> of the iconic cloverleaf shaped structure?</p><p>The notion has been the subject of chatter in architecture and preservation circles, particularly since critic Michael Kimmelman got Chicago architect Jeanne Gang to flesh out his idea and to create pretty snazzy renderings of the proposed complex.&nbsp;</p><p>On first blush, the plan shows above-the-box thinking worthy of some applause. Bertrand Goldberg&#39;s iconic modernist structure would seem to escape the bulldozer, which is what Prentice supporters want. And Northwestern University would get the new research building it wants, without having to demolish Prentice to do it.</p><p>But as a real solution for Prentice the idea falls flat. Under this idea, Goldberg&#39;s building would be visually overpowered by its taller addition. And what would the cloverleaf towers &mdash; now downgraded to being just the midsection of a new complex &mdash; do? What is truly being preserved? I would fear the quatrefoils would become an empty concrete Atlas, with much of its original space taken up by structural and mechanical systems needed to support the new world above it.</p><p>In addition, to elegantly build a 31-story tower on top of a building that wasn&#39;t originally designed to carry the extra load would be frightfully expensive. Yeah, they recently added 25 floors to the city&#39;s Blue Cross/Blue Shield Building, as Kimmelman states, but that skyscraper was designed to be added on &mdash; and the finished result is building that looks and functions as it did before. It&#39;s just taller.</p><p>Plus, does Northwestern even want this as a solution? In his piece, Kimmelman said a spokesman &quot;would not say whether the university would entertain such a notion.&quot; Which says volumes. Particularly since the Save Prentice Coalition, led by preservation group Landmarks Illinois, presented the university with <a href="http://www.landmarks.org/preservation_news_prentice_reuse_study.htm">a reuse study</a> for Prentice a while back, but Northwestern dismissed it as expensive and unworkable. In a<a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20121018/BLOGS08/121019745/jeanne-gang-goes-for-the-win-win-in-prentice-design"> <em>Crain&#39;s</em> story</a> Thursday, the university made their point a little finer:</p><p>&ldquo;It certainly is a very interesting drawing and an interesting concept, but like I said, it doesn&#39;t address the university&#39;s need to have new building connect to the existing building on a floor-by-floor basis and ultimately have a building that&#39;s 1.2 million square feet,&rdquo; a Northwestern spokesman said.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-030_1.jpg" style="float: left; " title="" /></div><p>This is not intended as a take-down of Kimmelman and Gang&#39;s idea, though. In fact, their vision has a significant, if unintended merit: It undesrcores the mass public interest in Prentice&#39;s fate and demonstrates there is a wider circle of experts who are thinking of ways to preserve the old hospital. And the Commission on Chicago Landmarks should weigh in now and grant preliminary landmark status to Prentice in order to allow time &mdash; and a process &mdash; to bring those people and ideas to the table.</p><p>The preliminary landmark designation would temporarily spare Prentice from demolition for a year. It would give City Hall the ability to examine whether a permanent designation and reuse plan are possible by working with the university, preservationists and experts such as Gang. That process might very well bring the &quot;<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-10-15/business/chi-ald-reilly-said-he-supports-nu-plan-to-tear-down-prentice-building-20121015_1_prentice-site-nu-plan-lurie-medical-research-center">eureka moment</a>&quot; that saves Prentice, as Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) spoke of when he seemingly reluctantly came out in favor of demolition last earlier this week. Or it could reveal the building has no future use at all &mdash; which I doubt is true.</p><p>But at least a deliberative and public process would have been followed.</p></p> Fri, 19 Oct 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/critics-vision-preserve-prentice-shaky-could-have-another-merit-altogether Northwestern rejects Jeanne Gang’s proposal for a compromise on Prentice Women’s Hospital http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/northwestern-rejects-jeanne-gang%E2%80%99s-proposal-compromise-prentice-women%E2%80%99s-hospital <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/prent-1.jpg" style="height: 443px; width: 620px;" title="Illustration of Studio Gang's proposed compromise on Prentice (Flickr/Trevor Pratt; Studio Gang Architects/Jay Hoffman)" /></div><p>Prominent Chicago architect Jeanne Gang came up with an idea this week to construct a new skyscraper on top of Prentice Women&rsquo;s Hospital.</p><p>Gang&rsquo;s vision could help the cause of preservationists, who have been working for months to save the clover-shaped structure from demolition. Gang was among a group of more than 60 architects and educators who petitioned the mayor in July to ask that the site be protected as a landmark.</p><div>But the building&rsquo;s owner, Northwestern University, says any proposal that keeps the 1975 building intact probably won&rsquo;t work for them. And Jeanne Gang&#39;s idea is out of the question.</div><p>Northwestern wants to build a new biomedical research facility on the site in the Streeterville neighborhood.</p><p>&ldquo;The existing Prentice building that&rsquo;s there is not suitable for repurposing for research,&rdquo; said Alan Cubbage, spokesman for the university. &ldquo;We really can&rsquo;t give up that much space on the site for a building that does not meet our needs.&rdquo;</p><p>Cubbage added that the university eventually wants a facility with far more square footage than Gang&rsquo;s design would accommodate. And he said the old Prentice building could not be connected on every floor to a Northwestern building already sitting West of it. Connectors on each floor are an essential requirement for the university, which is not up for debate.</p><p>Gang got the idea to propose a research facility on top of the old building when she was driving around the city seeing architectural sites with <em>New York Times</em> architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. She showed Kimmelman the structure, which was designed by renowned Chicago architect Bertrand Goldberg. When Kimmelman suggested putting something on top of the building as a way to resolve the preservation problem, Gang went back to Studio Gang and drew it up.</p><p>&ldquo;It didn&rsquo;t ever really occur to me before that that could be done, but I was kind of excited about that notion,&rdquo; Gang said. She thinks her proposal is architecturally feasible, though she isn&rsquo;t proposing that her firm actually take the project on.</p><p>She&rsquo;s just hoping to support a compromise on an issue whose two sides have lately seemed to her to be &ldquo;intractable.&rdquo;</p><hr /><p><strong>Related:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/famous-architects-step-save-prentice-building-101229">Famous architects step in to save Prentice building</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-09/architectural-swap-meet-102583">Alison Cuddy: Architectural swap meet?</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/alderman-reilly-supports-demolishing-prentice-women%E2%80%99s-hospital-103150">Downtown alderman: Prentice has to go</a></li></ul><hr /><p>&ldquo;We know that this building doesn&rsquo;t serve the purpose of biomedical labs today,&rdquo; said Gang. &ldquo;We want to have a top state-of-the-art research lab &ndash; that&rsquo;s great for the city, that&rsquo;s great for the economy. On the other side of it, you want to preserve the architectural heritage of Chicago. What if we could have both?&rdquo;</p><p>Even if a compromise could be found, it&rsquo;s unclear who the broker would be. The Save Prentice Coalition is putting pressure on the Chicago Landmarks Commission to recommend the site for landmark status this fall, but the commission won&rsquo;t comment on the issue. And Mayor Rahm Emanuel has yet to weigh in.</p><p>Alderman Brendan Reilly (2nd), whose ward includes the Prentice building, said on Monday he&rsquo;s waiting for a &ldquo;Eureka!&rdquo; moment that would give both sides what they want, but that for now he doesn&rsquo;t see an alternative to tearing down the building. He could not be reached for comment on Thursday.</p></p> Thu, 18 Oct 2012 16:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/northwestern-rejects-jeanne-gang%E2%80%99s-proposal-compromise-prentice-women%E2%80%99s-hospital Architectural swap meet? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-09/architectural-swap-meet-102583 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS2508_Prentice%20Women%27s%20Hospital_Flickr_TheeErin_0.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px; " title="Prentice Women's Hospital (Flickr/TheeErin)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F60678325&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Bertrand Goldberg&#39;s 1975 Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital is a crowd-splitter of a building. Fans point to the building&#39;s complex engineering and singular look. Detractors find it ugly, a jarring contrast set against other modern architecture.</p><p>The old Prentice<em> is</em> an unforgettable building, involving a tall, clover-shaped structure perched atop a squat square base - a sort of space-age, modernist take on a merry-go-round.</p><p>But there&#39;s practicality behind the curious look of the building. Goldberg&#39;s design allowed for a central nurses&#39; station, from which the hospital rooms radiated out like spokes on a wheel. Instead of traveling a long corridor to see patients, caregivers could assess the state of things at a glance around the circular space. Think of it as a kinder, gentler version of the <a href="http://cartome.org/panopticon1.htm">panopticon</a>, the structure forever made sinister by Michel Foucault.</p><p>Goldberg&#39;s vision anticipated current medical care, in which small groups of health professionals work in tight units to provide a range of services. The building also made it possible to combine the departments of obstetrics and gynecology with the Institute of Psychiatry (because motherhood and madness go hand in hand, right?!).</p><p>Prentice is one of <a href="http://bertrandgoldberg.org/works/">eight hospitals built by Goldberg</a> over a 20-year stretch, starting in the late 1960s. The first was also built in Illinois, out in Elgin, and&nbsp;it too apparently is in <a href="http://bertrandgoldberg.org/projects/elgin-state-hospital/">danger of disappearing.</a></p><p>What threatens Prentice isn&#39;t decay - at least not yet. Rather,&nbsp;Northwestern University wants to tear it down in order to build a new, state-of-the-art biomedical research facility. Northwestern says the current building won&rsquo;t work as a research space. Meanwhile, preservationists (both <a href="http://www.preservationchicago.org/">local</a> and <a href="http://www.preservationnation.org/">national)</a> say it can be repurposed.</p><p>The fight over Prentice is years long at this point. But lately things have&nbsp;<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-16/business/ct-biz-0916-confidential-prentice-20120916_1_prentice-site-preservationists-bertrand-goldberg">ratcheted up</a>. Each side has commissioned studies, developed talking points, and hired politically connected public relations firms.&nbsp;</p><p>The latest move? This week Northwestern offered ... well, kind of a swap.</p><p>They&#39;ve said if they do tear down the building, they&#39;ll replace it with another architecturally significant structure. When I spoke with Ron Naylor,&nbsp;who works in Facilities Management at Northwestern, he promised a building &quot;the aesthetics of such that people are going to marvel at it.&quot;</p><p>So &ndash; how&rsquo;d the idea of an architectural swap play with the people who want to protect the building? Jonathan Fine, the executive director of Preservation Chicago, was blunt: &quot;They already have a world-class piece of architecture. It&rsquo;s called the former Prentice Women&rsquo;s Hospital.&quot;</p><p>Like others in the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Prentice/146981851986833">Save Prentice Coalition</a>, he thinks Goldberg&rsquo;s building can&rsquo;t be replaced. &nbsp;&quot;This is truly a unique building,&quot; insists Fine. &quot;It cannot be mistaken for any other building on the planet. That&rsquo;s how important this building is, and it should be saved.&quot;</p><p>When I asked Naylor whether he thought Prentice was irreplaceable, he laughed, then added, &quot;You could say that about a lot of buildings.&quot;</p><p>He says Northwestern will hold a design competition for a new building, and he&#39;s confident they&#39;ll find a successor to the Goldberg structure.&nbsp;He says the university did that for their forthcoming <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2012/09/architecture-competition-prentice.html">School of Music and Kellogg Management buildings</a>, and those contests resulted in good architecture.</p><p>Fine counters that in Chicago, new construction has rarely measured up to what came before.</p><p>&quot;If you look at the replacement for the Stock Exchange it&rsquo;s a mediocre, terrible building,&quot; he said. &quot;If you look at what replaced the Garrick Theater, another Adler and Sullivan masterpiece, it was a parking garage.&quot;</p><p>The one point on which both sides might agree, is that whatever building ends up near the corner of Huron and McClurg, people will notice. Says Naylor&nbsp;&quot;It&rsquo;s a significant building for the university, for the Streeterville community and the city of Chicago.&quot;</p><p>So &ndash; what about Chicagoans?&nbsp; Do they think Goldberg&rsquo;s building could be swapped out? Arts intern Rebecca Kruth took to the streets around Prentice and found a mix of views.</p><p>Jenna Duffecy was with a group of friends. She described Prentice as a &quot;comic book mental hospital.&quot;&nbsp;Duffecy thinks a new structure would &quot;fit in better with the look down here,&quot; adding &quot;Northwestern usually presents as a fairly classy institution, and I appreciate the more modern buildings they usually have.&quot;</p><p>But Katherine Bookout sees value in Goldberg&rsquo;s iconoclastic design:</p><p>&quot;I mean Northwestern University has a beautiful campus but the other building is different,&quot; she said. &quot;And different is good. There are things in Chicago that aren&rsquo;t Northwestern and that&rsquo;s a positive thing.&quot;</p><p>So what will happen to Prentice? All eyes on are on the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, which could prevent immediate demolition by ruling to grant the old hospital preliminary landmark status.</p><p>Though the commission has yet to take up the issue, both sides hope it will be on the agenda at the next meeting, Oct. 4.</p></p> Fri, 21 Sep 2012 09:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-09/architectural-swap-meet-102583 Famous architects step in to save the Prentice building http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/famous-architects-step-save-prentice-building-101229 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS2508_Prentice Women&#039;s Hospital_Flickr_TheeErin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More than 60 architects, educators and historic preservationists are betting their famous names might help prevent demolition of the old Prentice Women&rsquo;s Hospital.</p><p>Northwestern University owns the building and plans to tear it down for a research facility. Prominent architects, like Jeanne Gang and Frank Gehry, intervened on Wednesday and submitted a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.</p><p>The architects called the clover-shaped building by Bertrand Goldberg a &ldquo;breakthrough in structural engineering&rdquo; and asked for landmark status.</p><p>Goldberg is a Chicago native who spent much of his career here and is best known for his Marina City towers. He studied under Mies van der Rohe at the Bauhaus in Berlin.</p><p>&ldquo;The legacy of Bertrand Goldberg&rsquo;s Prentice Women&rsquo;s Hospital is unmistakable,&rdquo; the letter says. &ldquo;Chicago&rsquo;s reputation as a nurturer of bold innovation and architecture will wither if the city cannot preserve its most important achievements.&rdquo;</p><p>But on Thursday, Northwestern said it has not changed its plans to demolish the building. A spokesperson said that it&rsquo;s &ldquo;unsuitable for the kind of modern biomedical research building the University needs to build on the site.&rdquo;</p><p>The university says a feasibility study showed the Prentice wouldn&rsquo;t be adequate as research space and would cost too much to convert.</p><p><strong><em>Listen to an extended excerpt from the interview with architect Dirk Lohan:</em></strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="mediaelement-audio"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1343432055-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/DirkLohan%20MP3_0.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>One of the well-known architects who signed the letter asking for landmark status, Dirk Lohan, doesn&rsquo;t buy that argument.</p><p>He&rsquo;s the grandson of Mies van der Rohe. &nbsp;Lohan&rsquo;s legacy in Chicago involves the restructuring of classic old buildings like Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and his controversial addition to Soldier Field. &nbsp;He&rsquo;s a fan of Goldberg&rsquo;s building.</p><p>&ldquo;These are the kinds of things that I think our city needs to think about, to rejuvenate older buildings that may not meet their original functions exactly the way they were meant to be,&rdquo; Lohan said. &ldquo;And I have a hard time believing that another use cannot be found to work within that structure.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;Goldberg&rsquo;s work was singular and idiosyncratic,&rdquo; Lohan said. &ldquo;He was a creative talent that worked in a way in contrast to the predominant modern direction that was popular at that time.&rdquo;</p><p>Lohan said Goldberg&rsquo;s distinctive use of cement helped him stand out during this period when many modernist architects, like van der Rohe, were working primarily with glass and steel.</p><p>The Prentice building&rsquo;s concrete shell has been likened to a cloverleaf or flower petals.</p><p>&ldquo;You could read all kinds of things in it,&rdquo; Lohan said. &ldquo;I think the building also has a very sinuous quality, and it was a women&rsquo;s hospital. So to me, it expresses something about women&rsquo;s bodies that I find attractive.&rdquo;</p><p>The National Trust for Historic Preservation has joined the fight. It added the Prentice to its list of most endangered buildings last year.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 26 Jul 2012 18:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/famous-architects-step-save-prentice-building-101229 Chicago’s endangered buildings, young and old http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/chicago%E2%80%99s-endangered-buildings-young-and-old-98441 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cuneo%20hospital_preservation%20chicago.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 358px; " title="According to Preservation Chicago, Frank Cuneo Memorial Hospital was ‘the most modern of hospitals’ when it opened in 1957. Now it’s on the group’s list of endangered buildings. (Preservation Chicago/Stacey Pfingsten)"></div><p>Historic preservationists are in a strange spot these days: Some of them are fighting to save buildings younger than they are.</p><p>That’s according to Jonathan Fine, head of <a href="http://preservationchicago.org/">Preservation Chicago</a>. His group released its annual list of the <a href="http://preservationchicago.org/chicago-seven/2012">7 most endangered buildings in Chicago</a> earlier this month, and at least one of the picks on this year’s list is younger than Fine himself. (That would be 37-year-old <a href="../../blog/lee-bey/2011-06-15/national-trust-places-old-prentice-hospital-its-most-endangered-list-87870">Prentice Women’s Hospital</a>, the Bertrand Goldberg-designed structure that made the list for a second year.)</p><p>Fine says he’s noticed other trends from year to year: vanishing urban corners, for instance, gobbled up by teardowns and replaced by chain pharmacies like Walgreens or CVS. Or churches, which as houses of worship subject to the separation of church and state, aren’t eligible for government assistance. And what Fine calls “meds and eds”-- buildings whose preservation becomes more difficult when powerful, clout-rich universities and hospitals want to expand their campus footprints.</p><p>This year’s list draws from some of those trends, and also features several buildings that will be familiar to readers of <a href="../../blogs/lee-bey">Lee Bey’s blog</a>:</p><p>►A collection of <a href="http://preservationchicago.org/chicago-seven/2012/heritage/74">five historic movie theaters</a>, including <a href="../../blogs/lee-bey/2012-04/commission-puts-landmark-status-picture-portage-theater-98015">the Portage</a>, which recently received preliminary landmark status, and the West Side’s Central Park Theater, which according to Preservation Chicago, is thought to be the country’s first movie palace.</p><p><a href="../../blogs/lee-bey/2012-04/unity-hall-early-birthplace-black-chicago-politics-jeopardy-98035">►Unity Hall</a>, a building included in the city’s historic Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District, which honors sites significant to the African-American experience in Chicago and the Great Migration.</p><p>►Three hospitals, including Prentice and <a href="http://preservationchicago.org/chicago-seven/2012/heritage/72">St. Anthony</a>, which sits at the entry point to Douglas Park along the Emerald Necklace network of boulevards and will soon be vacated for a new campus.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gethsemane%20church_preservation%20chicago.jpg" style="float: right; height: 274px; width: 300px;" title="Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church made Preservation Chicago’s list of the most endangered buildings this year. Constructed in 1869, it’s the oldest building on the list. (Preservation Chicago/Darris Harris)"></div><p>One structure on the list is notable precisely because it directly contradicts Fine’s crack about saving younger buildings: A construction date of 1869 makes <a href="http://preservationchicago.org/chicago-seven/2012/heritage/70">Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church</a> one of the city’s few remaining buildings built prior to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, making it one of the oldest buildings around here. “To lose [a pre-fire building], regardless of the modesty of the design, would be a great loss to the city,” Fine says.</p><p>There will be <a href="http://cowdery.home.netcom.com/maxnews.html">a community meeting this Thursday</a>, April 26, at Powell’s Books to help decide the fate of Gethsemane Church. In the meantime, listen to Fine’s description of the building’s history and the case for saving it in the audio above.</p><p><a href="../../series/dynamic-range"><em>Dynamic Range</em></a><em> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Jonathan Fine spoke at an event presented by the </em><a href="http://chicagoarchitecture.org"><em>Chicago</em><em><u> </u>Architecture Foundation</em></a><em> in April. Click </em><a href="../../amplified/chicago%E2%80%99s-7-most-threatened-historic-places-2012-what-cost-preservation-98055"><em>here </em></a><em>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Sat, 21 Apr 2012 10:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/chicago%E2%80%99s-endangered-buildings-young-and-old-98441