A judge in Cook County, Illinois has been able to do what preservationists, architects, critics, and others have been trying to accomplish for months - save Bertand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital from demolition. According to Deanna Isaacs, preservationists were successful this week in convincing Judge Neil Cohen to grant an immediate stay "that will protect Prentice from demolition" until their lawsuit on the building's landmark status can be heard.
The Judge's order was in reponse to a suit filed "against the city and the Chicago Commission on Public Landmarks this afternoon, seeking to reinstate landmark designation for [the building]. The designation was rescinded by the landmarks commission two weeks ago, immediately after it was bestowed."
"Plaintiffs, Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, claim that a rushed process employed by the commission—which collapsed proceedings that usually take months into a single afternoon—is illegal, and that the commission exceeded its bounds by making a decision on economic-impact issues that, according to law, are supposed to be considered by the City Council," notes Isaacs.
This news comes just two weeks after Mayor Rahm Emanuel published an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune expressing his support for plans to demolish the building. "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," Emanuel wrote.