Former Prentice Women's Hospital

Designed by Bertrand Goldberg (of Marina City fame), the old Prentice is currently sitting empty. The building's owner would like to demolish it; there is an active campaign to see it preserved. Preservation Chicago have had it on their 'Chicago Seven' list of endangered buildings two years running.

In my opinion—though I appreciate Goldberg's design and innovation in this building—concrete doesn't age well; most concrete buildings from this era now look horrifically ugly and the old Prentice is no exception. Oddly, they always tend to look wonderful in architect's drawings and models, and in the black and white photos of architecture books. So I wanted to see if my camera could see beauty that I couldn't.

The area surrounding this building was a particular victim to the bland uninteresting sameness in the buildings that sprang up during the building boom in Chicago in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This building now stands out as one of the only interesting buildings left in the area; certainly the only one that will make you look twice. Love it or loathe it; at least you will have an opinion about it, unlike many of the buildings around it.

I think that this building is screaming for an innovative reuse and—despite not being to my own aesthetic—it should not be demolished.

Both the shots posted here are shot with my Pentax film SLR using Ilford Pan F film. The second is taken through a dirty window (hence the imperfections) but there is something about it that I like.