Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2012, 11:24 pm

Judge halts demolition permit for Chicago hospital

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CHICAGO (AP) An iconic Chicago hospital won't meet the wrecking ball just yet.

A judge on Thursday issued a temporary order stopping the city from issuing a permit to Northwestern University to demolish the 37-year-old Prentice Women's Hospital.

Circuit Judge Neil Cohen says the public interest would be harmed if the building were razed before a court considers a lawsuit filed by preservationists. They claim the Commission on Chicago Landmarks violated a city ordinance when it rescinded a vote on landmark status for the now-empty Prentice.

The commission voted to give the building preliminary landmark status, then revoked it based on a city economic impact study.

The cloverleaf-shaped building with oval windows was designed by influential architect Bertrand Goldberg and is considered one of Chicago's most distinctive architectural designs from the 1970s.