A med­i­cal cam­pus ex­pan­sion riles fans of a former pres­i­dent,

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS -

Univer­sity of Chicago Medicine’s new $700 mil­lion Cen­ter for Care and Dis­cov­ery is sched­uled to open Feb. 23 (See story, p. 22). But for some his­tor­i­cal preser­va­tion­ists and con­ser­va­tive ac­tivists, the big­ger count­down is for an old apart­ment build­ing across the street.

The clock is tick­ing for the six-flat, which was given a 90-day stay of de­mo­li­tion on Dec. 27 by the city’s preser­va­tion staff. While the neigh­bor­hood at­tracts tourists be­cause Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s home is nearby, all the fuss is be­cause an­other U.S. pres­i­dent, Ron­ald Rea­gan, lived there briefly as a child (March 7, 2011, p. 36). The univer­sity’s plans call for tear­ing down the struc­ture to ex­pand the med­i­cal cam­pus. Writer Mary Claire Ken­dall an­nounced this month on her blog, Friends of Pres­i­dent Rea­gan’s Chicago Home, that she will be col­lect­ing tax-de­ductible con­tri­bu­tions to fight for the build­ing’s preser­va­tion. “Let’s win one more for the Gip­per and save the only Chicago home of the only pres­i­dent born and bred in Illi­nois,” Ken­dall wrote.

But the city and univer­sity of­fered lit­tle hope the build­ing would be pre­served.

Peter Straz­z­a­bosco, spokesman for the Chicago De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment, said the pres­i­dent’s short res­i­dency earned the prop­erty its “or­ange” his­tor­i­cal rat­ing, which trig­gers an au­to­matic 90-day de­mo­li­tion de­lay, dur­ing which the city and prop­erty own­ers dis­cuss devel­op­ment plans and al­ter­na­tives to de­mo­li­tion. But typ­i­cally, only prop­er­ties af­fil­i­ated with a his­tor­i­cal fig­ure’s “ac­tive years” war­rant city ac­tion for preser­va­tion, he said.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the univer­sity’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions de­part­ment, there are no plans to pre­serve the Rea­gan fam­ily’s old res­i­dence: “832 E. 57th St. is one of a num­ber of va­cant build­ings the univer­sity owns that will be taken down to al­low for ex­pan­sion of the med­i­cal and bi­o­log­i­cal re­search cam­pus. The univer­sity has been in con­ver­sa­tion with some mem­bers of the com­mu­nity about the pos­si­bil­ity of a marker.”

Some build­ings, shown above, near Ron­ald Rea­gan’s child­hood Chicago home have

al­ready been torn down. The fu­ture pres­i­dent, shown just prior to when his fam­ily moved to the city, lived at that

home in 1915.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.