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Video: A Look At The Fight To Save Historic Prentice Women's Hospital

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 31, 2013 5:45PM

Photo credit: Randy Plemel, Jr.

At the AIA national convention in 1893 art historian Barr Ferree said:

“Current American architecture is not a matter of art, but of business. A building must pay or there will be no investor ready with the money to meet its cost. This is at once the curse and the glory of American architecture."

To many fans of Chicago architecture business trumped art in the battle to save Historic Prentice Women’s Hospital. Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic structure is in the process of being demolished by Northwestern University in favor of a new medical research center.

A new short documentary by journalist and NU alum Nathan Eddy called The Absent Column uses nearly eight minutes to distill the debate over saving Historic Prentice in a clear and concise manner. Check it out.

The Absent Column from Nathan Eddy on Vimeo.

The documentary premiered at the Durban Film Festival in South Africa and later screened at the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam and the Architecture & Design Film Festival in New York. Eddy solidly captures the views of preservationists who view Goldberg's design was one-of-a-kind for its time, Northwestern's obstinance in saying they have to tear it down, and the passion of all parties involved in the fight to save the hospital.

[h/t Curbed Chicago]