Prentice Hospital again makes endangered building list
SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE April 24, 2012 1:36PM
The former Prentice Women's Hospital building, 333 E. Superior St., was designed by Bertrand Goldberg. | Landmarks Illinois photo
Updated: April 24, 2012 2:25PM
The downtown Prentice Women’s Hospital; a west suburban home built to house the widows of Civil War soldiers; and a West Garfield Park neighborhood landmark are among the state’s Ten Most Endangered Historic Places.
The 18th annual list, announced Tuesday by Landmarks Illinois, is meant to call attention to threatened historic resources in need of assistance in the form of responsible stewardship and/or creative reuse plans.
The economic downturn, public deficits and a lack of available financing continue to challenge such sites, a release from Landmarks Illinois said.
“The sites named to the list are all exceptionally important,” Jean Follett of Landmarks Illinois said in the release. “By calling attention to them, we hope to encourage solutions for their preservation.”
The Chicago-area buildings include the Hotel Guyon, Prentice Women’s Hospital and the Maywood Home for Soldiers’ Widows.
Completed in 1928 as a residential hotel, the Guyon at 4000 W. Washington Blvd. is a prominent West Garfield Park landmark that has been vacant for almost a decade. Since a 1980s renovation, it has had numerous owners and is currently in demolition court due to code violations, the release said. Despite a need for affordable and senior housing in the neighborhood, the current lending market makes renovation of the largest residential building on the West Side a challenge for developers, Landmarks Illinois says.
The Maywood Home for Soldiers’ Widows at 224 N. First Ave. in the western suburb was built in 1924 to house the widows of Civil War soldiers. The classic brick structure would have a relatively small project size and prominent location that should make it the lynch pin for much-needed redevelopment in a historic suburb, the release said. The building has been vacant since 2003 and owned by the village since 2008, though viable redevelopment options have been passed over. Landmarks Illinois says the site needs a realistic plan and village support to make it happen
The Prentice Hospital at 333 E. Superior St. is a Bertrand Goldberg-designed building vacant since September 2011, when ownership reverted from Northwestern Memorial Hospital to Northwestern University, which wants to demolish it and eventually use the site for a new medical research facility. The concrete, clover leaf-shaped structure, built in 1975, is representative of Goldberg’s organic architectural designs and “highly adaptable for reuse due to an open floor plate structural system,” the release said.
After Prentice was included on last year’s endangered list, Landmarks Illinois commissioned studies of three possible reuses, but Northwestern has claimed none are feasible for its needs, the release said.