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NU lays out its case for old Prentice Hospital site

Northwestern University released new details today about its plans for a biomedical research facility on the site of the former Prentice Women’s Hospital, which preservationists are trying to save.

In its report, titled Finding Tomorrow’s Cures, Northwestern says the facility cannot be built on other nearby sites suggested by the Save Prentice Coalition.

The report calls the Prentice site “the linchpin for the combined plans of Northwestern University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.”

Northwestern says the site “would be literally and figuratively at the center of research and patient care facilities.”

An NU press release quotes Eugene S. Sunshine, senior vice president for business and finance as saying, “This document lays out clearly both the University’s plans and the growing support for them. Our goals are to conduct lifesaving research in a state-of-the-art new facility and, in doing so, create jobs, fuel the Chicago economy and ensure the health of Chicago-area residents.”

The Save Prentice Coalition, which includes includes AIA Chicago, DoCoMoMo, Landmarks Illinois, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Preservation Chicago, wants to save the building designed in the early 1970s by Chicago architect Bertrand Goldberg.

UPDATE: The Save Prentice Coalition issued a statement late Wednesday, saying in part:

“This document doubles down on Northwestern’s false choice between research and reuse. Once

again, the university would have us believe it can save lives and create jobs only on the historic

Prentice site — though the site amounts to just four percent of Northwestern’s Streeterville

holdings.

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