Prentice Preservationists Doubt Northwestern Survey Results

Midwest, Newsletter
Monday, September 10, 2012


Even after several Pritzker-winning architects signed onto the preservation campaign last week, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks again omitted from its meeting agenda the embattled Old Prentice Women’s Hospital. Then, noting the recent flurry of media coverage, commission Chariman Rafael Leon announced at the top of Thursday’s meeting that the commission would address the issue before the end of its fall season.

The decision follows what the Chicago Tribune called “a public relations blitz” by the building’s owner, Northwestern University, who is seeking demolition. In addition to full page ads in the Tribune, Northwestern has touted the results of a survey it conducted that showed evidence for public support of the building’s demolition.

The Save Prentice coalition questioned the validity of those results, however, calling on Northwestern to release the full text of its survey. “We don’t know, for example, whether respondents were told of Northwestern’s extensive real estate holdings, including a massive vacant lot across the street from historic Prentice that is owned by Northwestern’s teaching hospital,” coalition representatives wrote in a press release Monday.

2 Responses to “Prentice Preservationists Doubt Northwestern Survey Results”

  1. John J. Delibos says:

    The destruction of this most unique architectural treasure, especially under the watch of someone as esteemed as Rahm Emmanuel, would be a truly great loss for the city of Chicago and yet another black eye for the city.

  2. David J Gill says:

    How is a survey of public opinion a worthwhile tool for deciding to preserve or demolish the Prentice tower? Isn’t thoughtful and detailed consideration by informed individuals more valuable than superficial attitudes.

    Public opinion is typically biased against preservation for a variety of reasons.

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