Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Commission supports preserving Civic Center

Attempts to preserve the Evanston Civic Center progressed Wednesday as the Preservation Commission unanimously approved its report recommending making the building a historic landmark.

After minor editing revisions, the report will proceed to the Evanston City Council.

“I hope they realize the importance of this building to the history of Evanston,” commission chairman Christopher Carey said. “But I don’t think the report is going to have that much impact. Minds are generally already made.”

The commission’s report about the center, 2100 Ridge Ave., says the integrity of the center’s Georgian-revival architecture and its historical significance in Evanston merits landmark status.

The city bought the home of local government from a Catholic girls school in the 1970s. In 2009 the building will reach its 100th birthday. The center is the subject of Evanston postcards and is listed on maps of historic landmarks, commission member Mary Brugliera said.

City officials remodeled the interior to accommodate their needs in 1977 and 1978 and replaced most of the major systems – such as its plumbing, – but the scaffolding around the building attests to its deterioration.

Aldermen have been debating whether they should relocate the seat of city government, and they are worried that selling the building could be more difficult if it receives landmark status.

The commission also approved a recommendation to nominate the center to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Just down the hall from the Preservation Commission meeting, the Evanston Plan Commission heard from residents about their dissatisfaction with development plans for The Georgian, a retirement community at 422 Davis St. The council rejected a proposal to grant The Georgian landmark status in 2004.

“You can’t bring these buildings back once they’re gone,” Brugliera said. “Kendall College, The Georgian, the Civic Center – those pieces of Evanston history will be gone.”

Reach Elizabeth Gibson at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Commission supports preserving Civic Center