Screenshot from "The Absent Column" by Nathan Eddy.

Screenshot from "The Absent Column" by Nathan Eddy.


Soon, Chicago's old Prentice Women's Hospital building will exist only in photographs. Demolition began on the Bertrand Goldberg building last month, a move that upset many architecture critics. In November's ARCHITECT, Alexandra Lange writes:

"It was a sad day for Modernism, and a sad day for common sense: Northwestern University's insistence that they needed that site and no other for a new biomedical lab never held up to scrutiny. It would be nice to think that Prentice would be the last structurally daring, imaginatively conceived concrete building clawed to rubble, but it probably won’t be. Something more beautiful has got to go."

And going it is. A short documentary by Nathan Eddy examines the debate over the building leading up to the demolition, as well as Goldberg's legacy in the city without this 1975 building. "The Absent Column," which has been viewed over 11,000 times since it was uploaded to Vimeo on Oct. 23, takes on a mourning tone backed by equally solemn music. Notable cameos include: Jonathan Fine of Preservation Chicago, critic Paul Goldberger, and Alan Cubbage, Northwestern's vice president of university relations.

The Absent Column from Nathan Eddy on Vimeo.