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Preservation Watch: Old Prentice

Just when we thought the Prentice Hospital saga had ended, another chapter is being written. In an eleventh hour attempt to save Prentice, preservationists have filed a lawsuit seeking to reverse the Commission on Chicago Landmarks' recent decision to deny the building landmark status. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois claim the commission failed to follow the city ordinance governing landmark protection. After a protracted battle pitting preservationists against Northwestern University, which wants to replace the old hospital with a new research facility, Prentice's fate was all but sealed when Mayor Rahm Emanuel came out in support of Northwestern's plans. And after granting preliminary landmark protection to Prentice, the commission did an instantaneous about-face, reversing its earlier ruling. Never mind that Prentice was deemed to have met four criteria set forth in the ordinance. As always, we'll keep you posted! Update: The Sun-Times is reporting that a Cook County judge has agreed to give Prentice temporary landmark protection. The next hearing will be held on Dec. 7th. [Sun-Times, previously]