Old County Hospital one of a Kind
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Letter to the Editor
Your story about how much it has cost taxpayers to maintain the vacant Cook County Hospital (“Down the Drain,” Dec. 7) was very misleading.
You cited a $12.1 million figure for building maintenance since December 2002, when the new Stroger Hospital opened. However, that truly stunning figure was based on average monthly costs of $400,000, rather than the actual $29,000.
The current $29,000 per month figure provides round-the-clock building security and routine maintenance. In contract, $400,000 was the operational cost for several hospital buildings, when they were still linked to a central steam heating plant. When that power plant was replaced last year, those costs were eliminated. To suggest that this $400,000 has anything to do with the effort to preserve Cook County Hospital is simply wrong.
If you would like to uncover the real “waste” of this project, please take a look at why county officials have not pursued the reuse of this one-of-a-kind structure.
A recent study commissioned by President Stroger notes that the former hospital building is still structurally sound, readily adaptable, and there is a need for medical office space.
Not only would this solution preserve a beautiful and historically important structure, but it would solve some of the chronic office space problems on the hospital campus.
Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois