Michael Reese demolition

In recognition of Landmarks Illinois’s release of their annual 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list today, let’s look back at the single most endangered architectural place in the city of Chicago: Michael Reese Hospital, being destroyed even as I write.

Michael Reese demolition

Michael Reese demolition

Michael Reese demolition

With the demolition of the these buildings, Chicago can lay claim to yet another of its vaunted firsts: it has destroyed more Walter Gropius buildings than anywhere else in the world! Truly a feat to brag about.

Michael Reese demolition

The demolition has magically caused a big retaining wall, a truck trailer storage yard, six railroad tracks, an 8-lane highway, and half a mile of distance to spontaneously vanish from the face of the earth, and now Bronzeville is suddenly connected to the lake, just like the city promised it would be when those dumb old hospital buildings were finally out of the way.

Michael Reese demolition

The city, meanwhile, has announced no development plans for the site. This is almost certainly because so many developers are frantically beating down their door and desperately trying to one-up each other that the city fathers just can’t make up their mind which one to take up.

Michael Reese demolition

Too bad there weren’t any buildings already on the site. Then they wouldn’t have to go and build a bunch of new ones!

Michael Reese demolition


2 thoughts on “Michael Reese demolition

  1. Sorry, but I spent a fair amount of time down at Reese a few years ago, and the buildings were boring and ugly. I know some Gropius groupies tried to palm them off as masterpieces, like the big, blue, windowless heating plant, but we are well rid of them. Some old buildings get charming as time goes on, but the last vestiges of the Brutalist/Bauhaus 60s never do.

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