Their names were Murdock, Rawson, Senn, and Jones. No, they weren’t the A-Team. They were four buildings on the campus of Rush Medical Center. Rendered obsolete by the construction of a new hospital in 2012, Rush chose to have them demolished rather than modernize or re-purpose them.
All over 100 years old, except for the Rawson building, which was built in 1924, the four are now history, with a large dirt lot where they once stood. Rush’s plan for the site will be green space, or what used to be referred to as a “yard” or “field” or, in much simpler times, just plain old “grass.”
The saddest demolitions occur when a building needs to come down without a replacement. A church burns, and a congregation has no meeting place. A hospital is torn down, and patients have no where to turn for care. A school is leveled, and students have to be bused for miles to finish their education.
Two current, high-profile demos in Chicago are fortunate in that sense. I stopped by the old Children’s Memorial Hospital this week, for its first day of destruction. The old facility has been closed for four years now, after the new Lurie Children’s Hospital was constructed in Streeterville and all patients were transferred without interruption of care.
Such is the case with the old Malcolm X College demolition as well. A brand new facility opened at 1900 West Jackson Boulevard for the 2016 school year, leaving the old school across the street empty. So Heneghan Wrecking started tearing it down this spring. Will something take it’s place? Of course, and I’m gonna let the Chicago Blackhawks tell you all about it. That way, I have more room for photos.