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What kind of city, what kind of people, would tear this down?

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 04, 2012 03:10 AM
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by Edward Lifson ( last modified Apr 24, 2011



Seems to me if you could find someone - even today - to design a building, a place, a monument to maternity, so forward-thinking, so interesting, profoundly smart, honest, daring, ambitious and enlivening, that you'd be grateful. If you could find the money to build it without watering it down, straightening out the curves, oversimplifying it in every way, you'd be proud.

Well, this building already exists in Chicago, a city lucky to have its legacy, but, as often, destroying greatness for mediocrity. Shame on Northwestern University for planning to tear it down. The image above is from a terrific reuse plan by Landmarks Illinois. With will, creativity and foresight, Prentice Women's Hospital could rather easily continue to contribute to making Chicago a place you'd want to be. Why make your city a less interesting place, less original, with less native character?

Prentice is by the great Bertrand Goldberg, best-known for Marina City, and always ahead of the curve. 

Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

And kudos to Landmarks Illinois for using research and beautiful imagery to "sell" their idea. That's what preservationists, planners and visionaries should always do. That's what Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett did; they showed the public seductive images by Jules Guerin and other artists to "sell" their 1909 Plan of Chicago.




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