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Old Cook County Hospital to be redeveloped

Tuesday, May 03, 2016
The Architects Newspaper
by MATTHEW MESSNER

(Jeff Dahl, Wikimedia for Cook County)

(Jeff Dahl, Wikimedia for Cook County)

After 14years of sitting empty, the Old Cook County Hospital in the Illinois Medical District may soon be redeveloped by CivicHealth Development Group (CHDG), a teamof developers, real estate investors, and builders. Selected through an RFP, the group plans to invest $600 million totransform the Beaux Arts structure into a mix of retail, hotel, and housing. CHDG will then pay $2 million in rent annually as part of a land lease agreement that will maintain the county’s ownership of the property.

Originally designed by Paul Gerhardt and Richard Schmidt, and constructed between 1913–1916, the hospital, with its three story ionic columns, is on the National Registry of Historic Places. If allowed to move forward, the first undertaking of the development will be to restore the building’s historic facade. The Cook County Board of Commissioners and Finance Committee are currently reviewing the project. If approved, therehabilitation could start as early as this year, with a goal of completion in 2018. Currently,the redevelopment plan callsfor four stages to include the rehabilitationof the existing hospital building, demolitionof neighboring buildings, and the possible construction of a nine-story clinic and administration building. The Cook Countywebsite identifies Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill as the architects working with CHDG to design the redevelopment.



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