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One final look at Cuneo Hospital before its demolition

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The modernist complex designed by Edo Belli will be cleared to make room for a new mixed-use development

After a long and heartfelt fight to preserve the old Cuneo Memorial Hospital complex in Uptown, preservationists and photographers are stopping by the modernist structures designed by Edo Belli for one last look before demolition work begins. The former hospital, which has been often listed on Preservation Chicago’s annual Chicago 7 list of most endangered buildings, will soon make way for a new HPA-designed complex that will deliver 381 apartments, a 31,000-square-foot grocery store, 278 indoor parking spaces, and a renovation of the Clarendon Park field house. The demo permits issued last week are specifically for the buildings at 750 and 810 W. Montrose Avenue.

While the existing complex is in a vacant and deteriorating condition, the main hospital building (later would become Maryville Academy) is a fine example of midcentury modernist design. Built in 1957, the complex offered a new look and feel for a healthcare facility similar to the way that Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital also helped push institutional design forward. It makes sense as both Goldberg and Cuneo’s architect Edo Belli studied under Mies van der Rohe. The hospital was operated by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart until 1988, after which the building became the Maryville Academy Children’s Shelter. The building has been empty since 2005.

Photographer and blogger Gabriel X. Michael sent over a few images he took this week of the main hospital building before it too is eventually demolished to clear the way for a newer mixed-use retail and residential complex for the neighborhood.