Up Close: Rush University Medical Center’s New Campus

Malcolm X College, soon to be demolished, and the western portion of the block turned into a new Rush University Medical Center "academic village." (Courtesy of Artefaqs architecture photography)

Malcolm X College, soon to be demolished, and the western portion of the block turned into a new Rush University Medical Center “academic village.” (Courtesy of Artefaqs architecture photography)

Yesterday we took a closer look at the eastern portion of the Near West Side block bounded by Jackson Boulevard, Wood Street, Ogden Avenue, Van Buren Street, and Damen Avenue.  Right now, this is the location of Malcolm X College, which is moving to a new building a block away.  The mentioned eastern portion of this block will become a new Chicago Blackhawks practice center when that happens.

Today we turn our attention to the western portion of the block.  It is here that Rush University Medical Center plans to expand with a mini-campus just across the Eisenhower Expressway from its main digs.  In all, four new buildings are planned, to be executed in four phases:

  • Phase One: 250-foot-tall mixed use building with a 200-space temporary parking lot
  • Phase Two: An academic building about the same size as phase one, and the parking lot reduced to 125 spaces
  • Phase Three: A student dorm with up to 1,000 beds
  • Phase Four: A mixed-use building, and the construction of a new quad
Diagram of the new Rush University Medical Center expansion

Diagram of the Phase One building

Phase One is a mixed-use building at 301 South Damen Avenue, on the southeast corner of Damen and Jackson.  It was designed by Ayers Saint Gross Architects out of Baltimore, and its facade is said to match the facade of Rush’s well-received butterfly-shaped patient tower across the expressway.

The land has been zoned PD55 since 1968, but that was reverted to B3-3 last month.  Now it’s being changed again to a new Planned Development.  Last month Rush also filed a certificate of need with the state of Illinois.  That’s required so that the university can nail down the details of its plans and eventually build its mini-campus — what Rush sometimes calls an “academic village.”

Project Firehose:

  • Architecture firm: Ayers Saint Gross Architects
  • Project gross site area: 383,594 square feet (8.81 acres)
  • Project net site area: 314,519 square feet (7.22 acres)
  • Floor area ratio: 5.0
  • Total parking spaces at project completion: 800

Phase One Firehose:

  • Building size: 350,000 square feet
  • Height: 250 feet
  • Parking: 200 spaces
  • Loading docks: two
  • Bicycle parking: 50 spaces
  • Parking access: via West Jackson Boulevard and South Damen Avenue
  • Loading dock access: via South Damen Avenue
  • Retail space: Ground floor, facing Damen, Jackson, and facing the new mid-block quad
  • Green roof alert!

Location: 301 South Damen Avenue, Near West Side

Author: Editor

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

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