Chicago department backs Northwestern in Prentice case

Susan Du, City Editor

The Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development will favor Northwestern on Thursday in its report to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, recommending that the old Prentice Women’s Hospital does not receive landmark standing.

In a report today, the department acknowledges the many economic and humanitarian benefits that NU’s proposed new biomedical research center would bring to Chicago, including $400 million in annual revenues. Because NU maintains that the new research facility cannot be effectively constructed on any site other than Prentice, the potential to save lives through University research outweighs the concerns of preservationists, according to the department.

“The Northwestern proposal is in the best interests of the city and its residents,” officials wrote in the report. “It will further distinguish the Streeterville neighborhood as one of the nation’s preeminent medical campuses while reinforcing institution investments that will extend citywide and beyond.”

The department made the recommendation after meeting with NU, preservationist groups and Streeterville businesses and residents.

— Susan Du