Architecture experts like to say Bertrand Goldberg's odd, ambitious design for the old Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago resembles an cloverleaf for its graceful, rounded floors, and they tout its gravity-defying lack of support columns thanks to a cantilevered design.
But Northwestern University attracted some attention when it announced that it would leave the 1975 building to the wrecking ball to make way for a new medical research facility. A local neighborhood newspaper, the Skyline, quoted university facilities director Ron Nayler saying in a May 2011 public meeting that the building's low ceilings, old wiring and inadequate “vibration criteria” made it unfit to keep around.
“When we looked at it in detail, we found irresolvable problems,” Nayler was quoted as saying.
Since then, a wave of local and national preservation groups have issued calls to save the building, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which last month enlisted architectural luminaries Frank Gehry, Jeanne Gang and 60 others in asking the city to save Chicago-native Goldberg's building.