WIN: Old Cook County Hospital Redevelopment Underway! (Chicago 7 2003 & 2004)

After 15 years of advocacy by Preservation Chicago, Landmarks Illinois, and other preservation partners, the vacant and historic Old Cook County Hospital will be adaptively reused as two hotels and medical offices. Located at 1825 W. Harrison Street, the eight-story Beaux Arts building was designed by architect Paul Gerhardt in 1914 and became a Designated Chicago Landmark as part of this process.

“The heavily ornamented Classical Revival style façade includes granite, white glazed terra cotta, cream-colored brick, massive columns and wonderful ornament. At one time it was the largest hospital in the nation, and Old Cook County Hospital has made appearances in movies such as ‘The Fugitive,’ with Harrison Ford, and served as the setting of the long-running hit television show ‘ER.’” (Ori, Chicago Tribune, 5/27/18)

“What everyone said can’t be done can finally be done,” said developer John Murphy. “We’re going to turn a dilapidated building into the first phase of what could become a $1 billion project. First up is the existing building, an approximately 345,000 square foot behemoth at 1835 W. Harrison Street. The building is 550 feet long, the rough equivalent of a 50-story skyscraper turned on its side. Once we reset this old building, I think you’ll see explosive development in this area. It will unlock billions of dollars in investments and jobs.” (Ori, Chicago Tribune, 5/27/18)

Located in the heart of the Illinois Medical District, the $135 million dollar redevelopment plan will renovate the historic Old Cook County Hospital building and will include two Hyatt hotels, medical offices, and ground floor retail with food hall and pharmacy. Historic tax credits played an important role in the financing for this development which was eligible due to its status on the National Register of Historic Places. The developers will seek Designated Chicago Landmark status for the building.

A 99-year lease was awarded on December 31, 2017 to a private development consortium called Civic Health Development Group (CHDG), which is led by Chicago-based developer John Murphy. Preservation Chicago applauds John Murphy and the development team and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board for this important decision.

“With the signing of this lease, we can look forward to restoring this amazing building and its historic architecture. Additionally, the redevelopment of Old County Hospital will unlock tremendous economic potential for the Near West Side and the Illinois Medical District,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. (Sneed, Chicago Tribune, 1/11/18)


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