Make a new building

but preserve an old one

12/13/2010 1:09 AM

By Bonnie McGrath

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(Chicago Journal photo)

There will be a community meeting for South Loop residents Tuesday at 7 PM with the Public Building Commission and Chicago Public Schools to talk about imminent plans for architects Perkins + Will to begin overseeing construction of a new Jones College Prep next to the existing school, on the old Pacific Garden Mission property. The meeting will be at the school at 606 S. State.

All I ask is one thing: Keep the old building, too! It's a wonderful mid-20th century masterpiece that was beautifully renovated a few years ago. Its courtyard makes a beautiful statement on South State Street, as well.

Anyone who cares about architecture and the preservation of unique structures, scream to high heaven if they want to tear down the old Jones--originally a commercial high school that opened decades ago. (I substitute taught there once in the early 1970s and loved it.) We owe it to South Loop history--and we owe it to future high school students. Jones is one of US News' Best High Schools of 2010. So the school should have as much room as possible for as many students as possible. Build the new--but keep the old!

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