No need for political debate. No need for springboards for architectural restoration design competitions. No need for social advocacy. The deals done in the Chicago Way and one thing you can bet on is that ‘house wins’ more often than not. Lamenting over the loaded dice that the city plays with is like going to Vegas and expecting to break even, let alone win – it’s fruitless, positionless and a waste of time. It could do well for architects and citizens alike to shed a tear or two over the end of Prentice, as a physical structure in Chicago, but built work is hardly the driving force of architecture. What I mean is, there are far more unbuilt projects than built ones that we all take more seriously than the 99% of buildings or 1% of architecture in this world.
If anything, now Prentice is free to be a paradigm. What would be more fitting than architects resurrecting the spirit of Bertrand Goldberg’s architectural fervor and publicity, making Prentice a position from which to design, to think, to project through. That is to say, Prentice is a dead woman walking right now and all we can do is decide what it means to us in terms of the future.
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