There’s a good chance that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Landmarks Commission Chairman Rafael Leon are buried under a blitz of e-mails and phone calls about the old Prentice Hospital right now.

And most of those messages might be telling them to let Northwestern University go ahead and bulldoze Bertrand Goldberg’s odd duck of a building.

This could be impressive.

It might look to Rahm and Rafael like the public suddenly awoke to the rightness of NU’s plan to take Prentice down and build a wonderful new medical research facility in its place.

They might assume that this public is fully informed and acting of its own accord.

And they might think they have no choice but to obey such a spontaneous groundswell of public will.

So they ought to know that on Thursday, NU e-mailed a letter to members of its alumni association (200,000 or so strong) and, apparently, to anybody else on its various mailing lists, urging them to click a link or pick up a phone and send those messages.

The letter talks about all the jobs and money that the new research center will bring, and about looking for cures for things like ALS and Alzheimer’s.

It doesn’t mention that all those great things would also happen if the research center were built on another piece of ground, like the huge empty lot right across the street, which is owned by NU’s sibling organization, Northwestern Memorial Hospital.