Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reading at Michael Reese Hospital

What: Save Michael Reese Hospital reading
When: July 25, 6 -11 pm
Where: 2929 S. Ellis Ave.

[pictured: Bauhaus, Dessau]

As part of its bid to the Olympics committee, the city of Chicago has decided to build an Olympic park on the south side in conjunction with their plan to make the city accessible for visitors and athletes should the city win its proposal to host the 2016 Olympics. The only problem is that the site of the future Olympics village is also home to Chicago architectural landmarks, including Michael Reese Hospital, which was designed by the legendary architect Walter Gropius with Reginald R. Isaacs. Gropius founded the Bauhaus School in Germany that was a lightning rod for new ideas regarding architectural design worldwide from 1919 to 1933. The influence of Bauhaus ideas on art of all genres is inestimable and continues to this day.

The city of Chicago seems very eager to raze Michael Reese Hospital to the ground whether the Olympic bid is ultimately successful or not. If it is successful and Chicago is chosen as the host city, the Olympics will come and go, and an important piece of Chicago history will be lost forever as a result. This seems like a very large price to pay for a temporary event, even for an event as illustrious as the Olympics.

The Save Michael Reese Hospital group his been organized to address this threat to a Chicago landmark.

Chicago is known for its architecture if anything, and the work of Walter Gropius in the city is an important piece of a puzzle that includes many other skilled architects who made Chicago what it is today, including Louis Sullivan, George W. Maher, Mies van de Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright. The work of these architects and others who made Chicago an architectural landmark that is visited by tourists from all over the world should be respected and the idea that the work of Walter Gropius should be destroyed to pave the way for the Olympics, a temporary event, is profoundly disrespectful to the memory of Gropius as well as to the citizens of Chicago.

Visit the Save Michael Reese Hospital Web site for further information now.

Also see Lynn Becker's, Writings on Architecture for more information.