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Restoration on Cook County Hospital could begin this summer

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For more than a decade the building has been empty

Cook County Hospital building
bmMAK / Flickr

The 102-year-old Cook County Hospital building is in serious need of restoration, and after more than a decade of vacancy, a plan for redevelopment might actually get moving by summer.

The building’s 99-year lease was transferred to the developer, Civic Health Development Group, which indicates that the first phase of development is right around the corner, the Chicago Sun-Times first reported.

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The plans for redevelopment include a hotel, administrative and medical offices, and ground floor retail on the 16-acre site at 1835 W. Harrison Street. Previous plans have mentioned market rate and affordable apartments, senior housing and condominiums. The development team includes Walsh Investors, Murphy Development Group, MB Real Estate, Plenary Group and Granite Companies. The architecture firm heading up the restoration will be Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Civic Health plans to invest about $130 million to transform the building into a central community point. The project will also receive financing through the federal historic tax program. The building could see the first tenants move in by 2019.

In 2006 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places to save it from possible demolition. The 1.2-million-square-foot building was designed by architect Paul Gerhardt and was one of the world’s largest hospitals in the 1930s. The massive, Beaux Arts facade is decorated with intricate detailing and Ionic columns. Little cherubs and filigree frame exterior archways and windows too.

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