From Preston, to Prentice.
Back in October, I spent a few days in Chicago. Under a chilly, grey skies, I saw the forlorn Prentice Women's Hospital, its sentence announced. While her broad concrete bosom still graceful and proud, but the black-glass clad underskirts of her podium had been ripped away.
©October 2013, Bauzeitgeist.
Which is what stings: the disappointment that a mission-based institution occupying a prominent site in the center of an architecture-valuing community would pull down this unique building, and also proposed to replace it with such hideous buildings. There's even more back-story, which reeks of Chicago power-politics, and justified the destruction on the contemporary investment-and-jobs-vaguery.
So that building is gone, and Chicago is definitely the poorer for it, regardless of how cutting-edge the new research hospital would be or how many high-income doctors will work there—for there's little question that there were other locations for a research facility to go.
There is some small consolation, however: there are other Goldberg hospitals, Prentice's sisters, still standing today at the extreme corners of the continent: in Boston, in Tacoma, Washington, in Mobile, Alabama, and in Phoenix, Arizona:
Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, 1976-1980.
Good Samaritan Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, 1978-1982.
Providence Hospital, Tacoma, Washington, 1969-1974.
St. Joseph's Hospital, Mobile, Alabama, 1982-87. All images from Google.
Mostly finished after Prentice, together they are remarkably similar in exterior appearance and interior arrangement to the now-dying building in Chicago. Indeed, especially in the use of the striking clover-leaf floor-plan, the Prentice's sisters are in most cases taller, larger, more expressive and more intricate; a furtherance of the architectural concept. Their quad-module towers meeting in a dramatically curving shoulder joint, as these last two images, taken from the excellent Bertrand Goldberg archive, show in the Providence Hospital in Mobile, Alabama:
Images courtesy Bertrand Goldberg Archive.
All is not lost? No, not all, just some.