Cul de Sac (6/18/10)

There’s something genuinely creepy about an empty institution. Take Chicago’s Cook County Hospital, for example. It’s been vacant for years, replaced by a newer facility a block away, but the fact that it still sits there, empty, after housing thousands of patients over the years, is unsettling. Cook County Hospital is impressive, but its architectural flourishes ring hollow now that its beds are empty and its corridors devoid of doctors. Sometimes I drive by the hospital at night and am struck by the fact that it is both imposing and vacant. It’s times like these that I’m overcome by two conflicting desires: first, to slow down and take in the experience, and second, to speed up and leave well enough alone.

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