Christina Morris and Jonathan Fine
Christina Morris and Jonathan Fine Credit: Alison Green

The idea was as improbable as the cloverleaf-shaped building. How could preservationists stand in the way of Northwestern University’s plan to raze Bertrand Goldberg’s architecturally unique Prentice Women’s Hospital and replace it with a new medical research center—the linchpin of a promised billion-dollar investment in the neighborhood? But then, for a while, that flimsiest of pipe dreams seemed possible. Christina Morris of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Bonnie McDonald of the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, Jonathan Fine of Preservation Chicago, and the members of their organizations waged a campaign that heightened public awareness of the city’s vulnerable cache of 20th-century architecture and immortalized the image of Prentice, with its concrete towers that seem to float in space. Even though they couldn’t save Prentice, their effort was noble.