Emanuel unsure on where to stand on Prentice

Susan Du, City Editor

Although Chicago Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) announced Monday that he supports Northwestern in its plan to demolish the old Prentice Women’s Hospital building in his ward, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that he hasn’t been persuaded to side with either the University or preservationists.

Emanuel said he still needs to meet with both parties to see if a compromise can be reached for Chicago’s benefit, according to a Chicago Tribune article published Tuesday.

NU wants to tear down Prentice and build a biomedical research facility on the site, which it claims is the only place that the center can be built. The University currently owns more than 40 percent of Streeterville.

Preservationists want to save Prentice because it was built by famed architect Bertrand Goldberg, who also designed River City and Marina City in Chicago. The Save Prentice Coalition disputes NU’s claim that there are no alternative sites for constructing the research facility.

“There may not be common ground or a third way, and then we’ll have to deal with that,” Emanuel said of Prentice at a news conference , according to the Tribune. “But most importantly, on the first step, this was a conversation between Northwestern and the preservationists. I think, the way I believe is, there are people that live there, operate there and have businesses. And they should be part of that conversation as well, because they’re part of that community.”

— Susan Du