Architect and Critic Propose Rescue Plan for Chicago Landmark

Preservationists have been outspoken in arguing for the protection of Prentice Women’s Hospital. Rather than bemoan Northwestern University's intransigence in finding a way to reuse the hospital, two powerful figures have put forth a way to save it.

Petitions have been signed, columns have been written, awareness has been raised, but up until know, efforts to explain the importance of protecting Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital from demolition seem to have failed to sway the property owner, Northwestern University, or local officials in Chicago.

In a last ditch effort to convince the powers that be that protecting the building is possible, Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for The New York Times, and Jeanne Gang, one of Chicago's most celebrated architects, have stepped forth with a bold proposal for saving the late-Modernist landmark by building a research tower on top of it. "Great buildings have often survived the wrecking ball by being added to, incorporated into larger structures or updated for a new era - in Rome and Istanbul, New York and Chicago," says Kimmelman. "Adding on top of the old Prentice is intended as a thought exercise in what might be called a third way that may not always get its due in preservation battles."

With that approach in mind, Gang developed a concept for adding 600,000 square feet of new space in a 31-story tower atop the hospital's cloverleaf, "adding a shapely new landmark to the skyline." 

"The university says it wants to be a good neighbor," observes Kimmelman. "Diversifying the neighborhood while incorporating Goldberg's building into some new structure would allow the university to save lives, develop a healthier urban plan and sustain a special work of local culture, which is also what great universities do."

Full Story: A Vision to Avoid Demolition for a ’70s Pioneer

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95