Prentice Womens’ Hospital Gets a Reprieve… For Now
Today, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks was supposed to discuss whether the embattled Prentice Womens’ Hospital (320 East Huron Street) is worthy of designation as a Chicago landmark. This would have given preservation groups some small ammunition in their fight to save the unique structure from demolition. See our previous coverage here, and here.
A small group of Prentice preservationists showed up at Chicago City Hall to make sure their voices were heard. Or at least seen, as they wore “Save Prentice” t-shirts. But they never got their chance.
Before the hearing really got rolling, it was announced that Northwestern University asked the landmarks commission to postpone consideration of the matter. It turns out the Northwestern is in discussions with the city about the building’s future.
Northwestern has the legal right to start the process of tearing down the old hospital whenever it wants, but has promised not to seek a demolition permit while it’s still in negotiations with the city.
Preservationists, perhaps itching for a fight, left the meeting more befuddled than joyous. But they may still get their fight, as the light at the end of the tunnel could be an oncoming train.
As an aside…
We posted the news of the demolition postponement to our Twitter feed, and Facebook page less than 30 seconds after the city committee announced it. We’re not always that fast, but it’s a good reason to follow one of those feeds, if you’re not already: