Greater North Michigan Avenue Association
September 19, 2012
Ms. Eleanor Gorski
Assistant Commissioner for Historic Preservation
City of Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development
Historic Preservation Division
33 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Re: Old Prentice hospital building (333 E. Superior Street)
Dear Assistant Commissioner Gorski:
The Greater North Michigan Avenue Association does not support efforts to designate the old Prentice Women’s Hospital building at 333 E. Superior Street as a Chicago landmark structure. GNMAA does support the preservation of buildings on North Michigan Avenue and within the North Michigan Avenue District which are historically and architecturally significant and which can be economically restored and adaptively function with the same or an alternate use. Our recently released policy document, VISION 2025, states: “In the case of functional obsolescence, replace these buildings with attractive and high-quality architecture.”
It is the opinion of GNMAA leadership and its members, which include distinguished area developers and architects, that the old Prentice hospital building is obsolete for any hospital or research center use and is not a key contributor to the unique quality of the district. Other local buildings designed by Prentice hospital’s architect, Bertrand Goldberg, are economically and functionally viable and would be better candidates for preservation efforts. GNMAA supports Northwestern University’s plan to build a new medical research center on the site which would be a significant addition to the hospital and University campus and the neighborhood.
We urge your department and the Commission on Chicago Landmarks not to designate this building as a Chicago landmark and to allow the University to develop the property with a functional and well-designed structure that will contribute toward its mission and needs.
GNMAA President and CEO