Another wonderful film that we saw last night at the Architecture and Design Film Festival tells the sad and painful story of an architectural icon, the Prentice Women’s Hospital, designed by one of Chicago’s most important architect Bertrand Goldberg. Completed in 1975, it was manifested in the organic language that Goldberg developed based upon cutting‐edge cantilevered concrete designs and advanced engineering. This building has always reminded me more of the Japanese Metabolism Movement than of Goldberg’s more famous Marina Towers.
The film brings arguments for and against demolishing of the building, which had been left empty after the Hospital was relocated to a new facility in 2007. On the one hand, representatives of the Stone Psychiatric Institute, which controls the property and officials of Northwestern Hospital, arguing their plan to construct a new research/laboratory facility. On the other hand, great people like architecture critic Paul Goldberger who argue for preservation of the building which has no local landmark protection, since it was built post 1940, the end date of Chicago’s Historic Resources Survey.