Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street

Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Editorial Board

Cook County Hospital

Editorial BoardEditorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.

One of Chicago’s most historic buildings — once a place of newborn babies and beating hearts and last breaths — is headed to rehab. Cook County Hospital, abandoned in 2002 and nearly demolished in 2005, is ready for redevelopment. Finally.

A three-year push by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to renovate the hulking, iconic hospital led to private financing and an agreement with developers for hotel rooms, retail space, medical offices, residential living and a museum. Led by Chicago developer John Murphy, the proposal’s first tenant will be a 210-room Hyatt House and Hyatt Place hotel. Construction is just beginning.

This will be a massive undertaking. While the building’s bones are solid and its decorative terra cotta façade is intact, the hospital has suffered from abandonment. Paint hangs off the walls in sheets. Rooms are flood-damaged. Graffiti mars windows and doors. Once avant-garde surgery amphitheaters now evoke the crumbling Colosseum in Rome.

 

And yet the building, stretching a full block along Harrison Street off the Eisenhower Expressway, maintains its haunting elegance. It is wounded. It needs this new heart, pumping lifeblood and oxygen through its arteries.

Preckwinkle’s asset management and real estate staffs spent hundreds of hours over three years putting the deal together. But the pending outcome is also a function of private enterprise and market forces. Commercial and residential interest in the West Side property and surrounding medical district — an extension of flourishing redevelopment west of the Jane Byrne Interchange — drove the project this far.

 

It has been a long time coming. In 2002, members of the Cook County Board, led by then-President John Stroger, planned to bulldoze the hospital when its $623 million replacement, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, opened. They viewed the old Cook County Hospital as too expensive and outdated to renovate. Stroger thought the hospital obscured the view from the Eisenhower Expressway of its sparkling replacement, which is located to the south.

 

But several freshmen board members at the time, including Commissioner Larry Suffredin of Evanston, led a demolition resistance effort, along with local preservationists. They eventually staved off the bulldozers by one vote of the County Board in 2005.

 

This page urged preservation but also warned against pie-in-the-sky proposals. We recognized the hospital represents more than an architectural gem. It was known as Cook County’s Ellis Island, a respite for immigrants and the poor who had no other options for health care. It was a renowned teaching institution and source to many medical innovations, including the nation’s first blood bank and first comprehensive trauma center. And of course, it became the fictional backdrop of an award-winning TV drama, “ER,” which began airing in 1994.

 

 

 

Over the years, the county spent millions of dollars on consultants who offered ideas on how to re-purpose the building. Mostly it sat. Until now.

 

In the weeks and months to come, we’ll try not to raise our hopes too high, given the dicey history of earlier rescue efforts. The ups and downs of Cook County Hospital have been novel-worthy. This project, though, is a long-term commitment. So is our desire to see it completed.

 

But today, hearty congrats to the County Board members who thwarted Stroger’s demolition plan, to Preckwinkle for pushing ahead and to the private-sector stakeholders willing to take a risk on reviving the Lazarus of Harrison Street.






Recent Headlines

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Assessor’s Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZ’s Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the region’s sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

Measles has turned up in Cook County. Here's what you need to know.
Friday, March 29, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP