The rebirth of old Cook County Hospital, which once had a near-death experience, would have been worth celebrating in any year. But it took on special meaning in 2020, as doctors, nurses and other health care workers battled the deadly coronavirus.
Beautifully remade as a mixed-use building with two Hyatt hotels, a food hall, a day care center and medical offices, the beloved Beaux-Arts landmark at 1835 W. Harrison Street began a new chapter in its storied life even as it continued to symbolize the highest ideals of public health.
The Tribune recognizes the leaders of the redesign — Brian Lee and Adam Semel of the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Jackie Koo of KOO Architecture — as Chicagoans of the Year in architecture.
Their efforts weren’t just attractive to the eye. They stirred strong feelings.