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Report backs tearing down Cook Hospital

Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

A $1.4 million analysis of the old Cook County Hospital suggests the structure should be torn down.

The study's findings were no surprise to preservationists, who say Board President John Stroger wants the facility down, and the politically connected analysts he hired would naturally support that position.

But Stroger spokeswoman Caryn Stancik said Stroger will recommend the study be sent to the county's construction committee, as he wants it "to receive the benefit of a full hearing and a full presentation from" U.S. Equities.

That company, run by Stroger campaign contributor Robert Wislow, got the no-bid contract to do the analysis and it then hired a company run by Stroger's godson, Orlando Jones, to assist with the work.

'Politically connected firm'

Michael Moran, vice president of Preservation Chicago, called U.S. Equities "a politically connected firm that is in Stroger's back pocket" and which "relies on Stroger's goodwill" for other county contracts.

"He will not have the votes on the board to demolish the building," Moran added.

The 91-year-old Cook County Hospital building has sat vacant since John H. Stroger Hospital opened next door in 2002.



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