Prentless Whisper: Is This The Calm Before the Form?

Simpson-Querrey Biomedical Research Center pre-construction

Simpson-Querrey Biomedical Research Center pre-construction


Two months after the official — and strangely semi-private — groundbreaking ceremony for Northwestern University’s new biomedical research tower, things are starting to stir at 333 East Superior Street.

Drawing of Northwestern Biomedical Research Tower

Drawing of the Simpson-Querrey Research Tower, courtesy of Northwestern University

It is not yet beating a dead horse to mention that this was formerly the location of Bertrand Goldberg’s bulbous but beloved Prentice Women’s Hospital, which was torn asunder (first and last time I’m probably going to get to use that word) by demolition crews in spite of both location and national preservation groups rallying to its defense.

In its place, the university has promised a $50 million, sleek, glass-plated curve-and-a-half from Perkins+Will to be known as the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center, a significant improvement over its placeholder name: “MRC2.”

Though no permits have been issued for the highly anticipated project, The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell spotted Walsh Construction setting up shop at the vacant lot slated for the medical tower.  In 2014 Northwestern’s stated goal was to start construction early this year.  Now that we’re officially in the second half of 2015, it makes sense that this could be a precursor to actual construction. Walsh is taking bids from subcontractors until next Wednesday.

For much more about the new building, including an appearance by P+W design director Ralph Johnson, see the video after the photo gallery.



Location: 333 East Superior Street, Streeterville

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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