Michael Reese Hospital Chicago Building, Modern Illinois Architecture Photos, News, Design Images

Michael Reese Hospital Chicago : Walter Gropius Building

Demolition of Walter Gropius Buildings in Illinois, USA

page updated Aug 20, 2016

Michael Reese Hospital Building

Gropius in Chicago Coalition : City Hall Protest – Nov 25, 2009

Gropius in Chicago Coalition – News

Nov 18, 2009

In addition to the widely publicized loss of Gropius’s Friend Convalescent Home, the Laundry building has now also been completely demolished. Making matters worse, on Monday full-scale demolition of the magnificent Serum Center was also started. The Gropius-designed building is already in a state beyond repair.

Serum Center:
Walter Gropius Building Chicago
photo © Grahm M. Balkany / Gropius in Chicago Coalition

Curiously no plans for the site have emerged.

The Gropius in Chicago Coalition are planning a protest event downtown on November 24th and welcome participation.

Despite the losses, there are still five works of Walter Gropius at Michael Reese Hospital:-

– The Power Plant, an amazing design that deliberately harmonizes with Mies van der Rohe’s Power Plant at IIT.
– The Singer Pavilion, Gropius’s first built medical building anywhere in the world, now given a temporary demolition reprieve.
– The Linear Accelerator, an intriguing building that is the final known commission of Gropius at Reese.
– The Cummings Pavilion, which is Gropius’s final design in steel-and-glass anywhere in the world.
– The Kaplan Pavilion, a definite masterpiece. It is the epicenter of Gropius’s campus, with a great resemblance to the Bauhaus Dessau.”

Laundry building:
Walter Gropius Laundry building
photograph © Grahm M. Balkany / Gropius in Chicago Coalition

Chicago continues what Gropius in Chicago Coalition term an “unforgivable assault on world culture…..a disgraceful act of profound cultural negligence and unimaginative wastefulness” – a sentiment echoed by critics worldwide. Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune has called the destruction of Gropius’s works “savage” and a “plundering [of] its history.”

Gropius in Chicago Coalition – News

28 Oct 2009

The first building of 29 at Michael Reese Hospital was demolished yesterday. This first demolition target was one of the eight works by Walter Gropius.

There has been a chorus of disapproval from around the world to this destruction.

Opponents include AIA Chicago, the American Planning Association – Chicago Chapter, the Society of Architectural Historians, Dirk Lohan of Lohan Anderson, John Vinci of Vinci-Hamp Architects, DOCOMOMO Midwest chapter, Chicago Art Deco Society, John Pardey of John Pardey Architects (UK), Preservation Chicago, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, and many others.

Michael Reese Hospital Michael Reese Hospital Chicago Michael Reese Hospital Building Gropius Building Chicago
photos © Grahm M. Balkany / Gropius in Chicago Coalition

The Friend Convalescent Home was designed from 1954-56, and erected in 1957.

Gropius and Norman Fletcher of TAC designed the building in collaboration with Loebl, Schlossman, and Bennett of Chicago.

The building, despite being of a small scale, was a critical part of the overall Gropius master plan for the south Reese campus, framing the western edge of Rothschild Park and helping to form this unusually beautiful “courtyard” area.

The building is the first major Gropius work to be demolished in decades. Gropius in Chicago Coalition’s research into the status of all Gropius buildings worldwide has concluded that the building is in fact one only a handful such Gropius designs ever to meet the wrecking ball. Chicago is sadly living up to its poor reputation as a great destroyer of world culture.

e-architect supports the Gropius in Chicago Coalition and we ask that you contact GCC to lend your support.

Gropius in Chicago Coalition

Gropius in Chicago Coalition – external link
Contact: 312-217-1457

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago Architecture

Contemporary Architecture in Illinois, USA

Chicago Architecture Design – chronological list

Chicago Architectural Tours – city walks by e-architect

Selection of Key Buildings by Walter Gropius

Bauhaus Building & Masters’ Houses, Dessau, Germany: Competition
Bauhaus Building
photo from Bauhaus competition organisers
Bauhaus Buildings

Berlin Archive Museum of Design, Berlin, Germany
Designed 1964 ; built 1976-79
Bauhaus Archiv
photo © Adrian Welch

Interbau Apartment House, Berlin, Germany
Date built: 1957
Design: Walter Gropius (Bauhasu founder), TAC with Wils Elbert
Hansaviertel Buildings
photo © Adrian Welch
Hansaviertel Buildings by various celebrated 20th Century architects

Chicago Architecture

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