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Landmarks Commission To Re-vote On Landmark Status For Historic Prentice

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 28, 2013 7:00PM

The saga of Historic Prentice Women’s Hospital has taken another odd turn. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks announced Monday they would once again consider the matter of granting landmark status to the building.

Judge Neil Cohen, who granted temporary landmark status to the Bertrand Goldberg-designed building in November, sided with the Landmarks Commission earlier this month while upholding an order preventing Northwestern University from moving forward with tearing down the building in order to build a new state of the art biomedical research facility.

The Landmarks committee took the unusual step of granting, then removing, temporary landmark status to Old Prentice last November in a meeting preservationists called a sham. Cohen, while siding with the Landmarks Commission in his Jan. 11 decision, called their process “arbitrary” and “nontransparent” and repeatedly pressed a City attorney that the best way to approach the debate was to hold another meeting.

The Landmarks Commission listed Old Prentice on its Feb. 7 agenda, under “Consideration of the Recommendation from the Department of Housing and Economic Development to Reject Preliminary Landmark Recommendation.” City Housing Commissioner Andrew Mooney also submitted a revised report for consideration by the Commission.

The Save Prentice Coalition called the decision a “moral victory,” although they’re still suspicious of the Commission’s motives.