Throwback Thursday
The Last Days of Michael Reese Hospital

Demolition of Michael Reese Hospital (Courtesy of Dr. Robert Vogelzang)

Demolition of Michael Reese Hospital (Courtesy of Dr. Robert Vogelzang)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s recent announcement that the city is going to finally push the abandoned Michael Reese Hospital site into the development pipeline has got a lot of people thinking.  Architects are dreaming of the sorts of outstanding things they could do with such a large, blank canvas.  Developers are thinking of the oodles of money they can make turning the wasteland into the Next Big Thing™.  And the rest of us, are just wistfully recalling the days when it was providing medical care to Bronzeville and the immediate area.

And so we end up at another Throwback Thursday, thanks to Dr. Robert Vogelzang over at Northwestern (the hospital, not the college).  He sent in his memories of the medical center on the lake, in the form of some photographs he took just before it was torn down.  The best one was taken from the lake, and  shows how the hospital’s modest towers impacted the city’s skyline.

Location: 500 East 29th Street, Bronzeville

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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