$108M plan to re-develop Old Cook Co. Hospital OK'd
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
by Lisa Donovan
Old Cook County Hospital, is showing signs of new life.
Today, county commissioners OK’d a nearly $108 million
re-development plan, first reported by the Sun-Times, to convert the
shuttered facility into offices for hospital administrators. That staff
will move from the old nurses dormitory at 1900 W. Polk, which is
slated for demolition.
The county will put up $5 million, seek $24.2 million in city Tax
Increment Financing funds and issue bonds to pay for the project, said
Commissioner William Beavers, a South Side Democrat.
“It’s a huge landmark,” he told the Sun-Times adding: “It’s
really such a beautiful building, something needed to be done to save
While officials are cautiously optimistic about the TIF dollars
coming through and the rest of the financing falling in to place, a
timeline for construction work and move-in date have yet to be set.
Still, preservationists see this as a victory. It was their
work that spared building, from the wrecking ball back in 2004, just
two years after it was vacated.
“We’re thrilled — for our organization this has been a
seven-plus year battle, one to show this was historic and worthy of
preservation. And then we had this six years of limbo with the building
being mothballed and not knowing what was going to happen,” said
Jonathan Fine, with Preservation Chicago. “Today is a good day in
The group included the hospital in its “7 most endangered” Chicago buildings back in 2003 and 2004.
Fronting the 1800 block of West Harrison, the hospital and its
famous Beaux-Arts facade was built in 1914 during the "City Beautiful"
movement, when public buildings were intended to re-create the
classical grandeur of Europe.
The building was closed in 2002, replaced by Stroger Hospital.