Business in the Front

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The old Parkland's now without windows, giving it a far less sinister vibe just in time for the holidays.

Ladies and gentlemen, you have been lied to. And it's my fault. Not deliberately, of course, because nearly a year ago, I told you that a guy named Byron Head was gonna buy the old Woodlawn Hospital at Maple and Oak Lawn avenues and turn it into Mockingbird Station II: Electric Boogaloo, complete with lofts, theatres and shopping.

But the Head project (har, har!) fell through. So did an apparent $16.5 million deal with Phoenix-based Alliance Residential, according to an anonymous birdie I talked to today. Word is, the Crow part of Trammell Crow has obtained the historic property and plans to turn it into offices. No details on the deal, yet, and no confirmation from the T.C. media relations folk. Stay tuned. But Trammell Crow was once interested in the property, as recently as 2001.

Right now, the nearly 100-year-old building is sans windows because of a problem with lead and asbestos. The molding on the outside is being remodeled, and the inside looks quite a bit cleaner than the mess of debris and other spooky, creepy bits I saw when I toured the place last December. Woodlawn started out as a tuberculosis hospital, but also operated as a psych ward and jail. In compliance with the building's historical designation, the front half of the building must remain unaltered.


Offices make sense, if you ask me, especially with the glut of overpriced, soulless condos popping up around the Maple-Oak Lawn intersection. The Woodlawn building is fantastic, but I'd be a little uneasy about making my home in the state's first public psychiatric hospital. Better to stick to a 9-5 occupancy, no? Oogly, boogly boo!


Possible additional source of revenue for Parkland: Somebody get the Celebrity Paranormal Project in there before they install the filing cabinets and fluorescent lighting. I wanna see Danny Bonaduce try to shoot up with some leftover 1940s TB needles. --Andrea Grimes

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