Prentice WOmen's Hospital

  Photo by Dan Kieckhefer

Photo by Dan Kieckhefer

333 E. Superior Street, Chicago (demolished)
Bertrand Goldberg Associates, 1976

The former Prentice Women's Hospital featured a five-story, rectangular post-and-beam base, clad in an opaque metal curtain wall with solar bronze glass windows, out of which grew a massive clover-shaped poured concrete tower that dramatically cantilevered back over the glass box base. The quatrefoil shape of the tower facilitated a more humane organization of functions on the maternity floors, in which all bedrooms were designed to be equidistant from the building’s core, which housed the nursing stations and nurseries. This created improved visual and physical connections between the patients and the nurses, as well as between mothers and babies in the nursery. In 2011, a coalition effort called Save Prentice was formed to advocate for the preservation of Goldberg’s building. With support and involvement from preservation organizations including Docomomo US, Landmarks Illinois, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Preservation Chicago, Save Prentice made huge strides in educating the public about the building’s importance. Despite these efforts, Prentice was demolished in 2014.