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Court battle over old Prentice Hospital delayed

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The court battle over the future of the Old Prentice Women's Hospital has been postponed until Jan. 11.

Northwestern University wants to knock the building down to make room for a research facility, but preservationists won a temporary stay on demolition.

Today, Cook County Judge Neil Cohen said oral arguments on a city motion to dismiss will be heard on Jan. 11.

Lawyer Michael Rachlis, a spokesperson for the Save Prentice Coalition, said the architecturally significant structure "is safe for now."

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I understand NU's point of view on not being able to reuse Prentice for their research facility. However, here is a solution that I think could be pursued that would be a win-win all around. There are two components:
1. Allow NU and NWH to combine their use of the former VA site. Provide sufficient allowance to allow them to build a facility large enough to accommodate both uses. Building once to fulfill both institutions' needs would likely save both money as they could share many common components.
2. Convert Prentice into a Medical Technology Start-up Incubator. This would provide space to start-ups close to both world class institutions NU and NWH as well as relative proximity to financial and professional services resources downtown. It would be a source of employment full or part-time for NWH/NU students and staff as well as many who would serve in support functions.

If we follow this route, NU/NWH are still able to fulfill their vision for new facilities in close proximity (actually closer) to their existing facilities and we can always decide to demolish Prentice if we find that we truly cannot reuse it in an economically viable way. In 1897, we got the Library and GAR to cooperate on the Central Library. Hopefully we can get NU/NWH and the city to cooperate to save Prentice.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Frisbie published on December 7, 2012 1:27 PM.

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