Monumental restoration of Cook County Hospital building which is a chosen landmark in Chicago is completed by an outstanding and uniquely experienced team of SOM.

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Old Cook County Hospital ©ArchDaily

Completed in 1914 the Cook County Hospital building is a chosen Chicago Landmark and, it stood because of the symbolic coronary heart of the Illinois Medical District healthcare network. Vacant considering the fact that in 2002, the structure had fallen right into an extreme state of disrepair and became threatened with demolition. Instead, SOM led a design-construct collaboration for well-known contractor Walsh Construction, with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates and indoors designers KOO, to cautiously preserve, restore, and adapt the previous health center constructing to satisfy the changing wishes of the neighborhood. With a brand-new hotel, food hall, clinical offices, and network spaces, the revitalized ancient health center building is the primary section of a proposed $1 billion redevelopment plan for the area. 

“This has been a monumental restoration completed by an outstanding and uniquely experienced team. At the epicenter of the Illinois Medical District, the project will be recognized for the next 100 years as a tribute to so many who served the sick while tirelessly pursuing medical advances” says John T. Murphy, Chairman & CEO of Murphy Real Estate Services.

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Old Cook County Hospital ©ArchDaily

Not only an enormous instance of the neoclassical Beaux-Arts style, but Cook County Hospital also has an illustrious history: many scientific advances occurred here, along with the improvement of the primary blood bank withinside the United States, and the health facility changed into long recognized as “Chicago’s Ellis Island” for its dedicated remedy of negative groups and immigrants to the metropolis. A museum area in the newly restored structure will exhibit the vital function the health facility performed for the metropolis and in the discipline of medicine.

When the rehabilitation mission commenced in 2018, deferred maintenance, exposure to the elements, and vandalism had prompted extreme deterioration to the outdoors and indoors of the building. The recovery paintings centered first on repairing the neoclassical-style outdoors which concerned the alternative of greater than 4,500 portions of terra cotta on the facade.

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Old Cook County Hospital ©ArchDaily

A sliver-thin cover of metallic and glass marks the doorway to the building, changing a former cumbersome addition that faded the integrity of the ancient facade. Inside, SOM restored the foyer to its authentic peak of 25 feet. Original crimson terrazzo floors and ornate Beaux-Arts molding straight away evoke the building’s authentic grandeur, whilst cautiously selecting modern-day artwork, lighting, and finishes signal a brand-new chapter withinside the building’s history.

A food hall simply to the left of the foyer offers a shiny and attractive area wherein to loosen up and recharge; its 12 neighborhood carriers are more often than not women- or minority-owned businesses. Further, amenity areas consist of an expansive bar and front room areas with perspectives through restored wood-framed windows, developing an energy surrounding and a feel of connectedness to the encircling neighborhood.

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Old Cook County Hospital ©ArchDaily

Brian Lee, SOM Consulting Design Partner explains that they didn’t simply want to keep the vintage Cook County Hospital–it desired to bring it again to its former glory, from the facade to the authentic Beaux-Arts masonry detailing and terra cotta ornamentation. The restored ancient extent and finishes withinside the most important foyer convey the authentic grand front returned to life, organizing a brand new access factor for the community

SOM and KOO took benefit of the building’s incredibly thin footprint to configure 210 resort rooms packed with natural light. With particular layouts and modern artwork and decor, the rooms offer a wealthy style of spaces and views. Some of the greater uncommon areas inside the former hospital, along with lofty running rooms with bands of home windows on the 8th floor, have been converted into one of a kind visitors’ rooms.

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Old Cook County Hospital ©ArchDaily

“We’re proud to be a part of beginning a brand new chapter in Cook County Hospital’s history that offers multi-use areas and facilities for clinical workers, sufferers and their cherished ones. The pandemic has emphasised to us the ability of adaptive reuse, ancient renovation and design-build in sustainably remodelling the destiny of our communities,” says Adam Semel, Managing Partner at SOM. 

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Old Cook County Hospital ©ArchDaily

The first of numerous phases, the Cook County Hospital redevelopment energizes the district via ways by means of reestablishing the construction because of the keystone for a vibrant, mixed-use, transit-centered development. The multi-use redevelopment revitalizes the encompassing Illinois Medical District and presents much-wanted facilities to help the desires of medical district workers, patients, and their families. SOM is involved in the ongoing making plans and has a look at these future phases.

The preservation of the Cook County Hospital has earned the venture a 2020 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse. Since 1994, Landmarks Illinois has honored exquisite examples of excellence in Illinois ancient upkeep through this annual awards program.

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Old Cook County Hospital ©ArchDaily

A building that performed a critical role in the lives of the infinite Chicagoan households all through the decades is now ready. You will be able to crash for the night in the non hospital beds in the center and have a dining experience in the city with the most modern food halls. 


Zoya Hooda an architecture student with a creative passion for writing and design. There is not a single word that could describe her but a combination she is, loving, ambitious and carefree. She is determined towards what she wants. She is not perfect, but she is close.