Gehry, Gang Step In To Save Chicago Landmark From Destruction
July 27, 2012
Image via chicago modern
Brutalist masterpieces around the country are under attack around the country, with some surviving and others, unfortunately, succumbing to the onslaught. The awesomely octagonal Third Church of Christ, Scientist in Washington, D.C. has been approved for demolition, while many of Paul Rudolph’s most celebrated works have already been put to the wrecking ball. Recently, though, his Orange County (Connecticut) Government Center was saved from being replaced by a thoroughly mediocre colonial pastiche.
Now, a new battle is shaping up, this time over the preservation of Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago. Frank Gehry and Jeanne Gang are among the sixty-some signatories of a letter to Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel, asking that the building be spared. The letter, in part, read, “As members of the architecture community, we believe Goldberg’s Prentice should be given a permanent place in Chicago’s cityscape. A building this significant–this unique in the world–should be preserved and reused.” The 1975 building features truly daring rounded concrete cantilevers hovering above a steel and glass base.
The building has been in limbo since June 2011, when the city’s landmarks commission shelved a decision to add it to the register. Northwestern University owns the building, and intends to replace it with a medical research tower, though they do not yet have the funding to do so. The architects’ letter runs afoul of a vocal segment of Chicagoans who support demolition.
[via Chicago Tribune]