New book marks 150 years of Evanston architecture

Source: Design Evanston

“Evanston: 150 Years, 150 Places” was released last week. The book highlights the city’s architectural treasures, including at least a dozen related to Northwestern.

Annie Bruce, Summer Reporter

A new book highlights Evanston’s architectural gems as the city prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday.

“Evanston: 150 Years, 150 Places” features noteworthy buildings from throughout the city, including some on the Northwestern campus. The book, written by Design Evanston president Jack Weiss and four co-authors, was released last week.

Weiss said the selecting the 150 locations was a year-long “democratic” process involving submissions from the five authors and more than 100 other people. Weiss and the rest of the book committee worked to make sure it included a variety of architectural pieces from every decade of Evanston’s history.

“Evanston is a diverse community, both economically, racially, ethnically, and its architecture reflects that,” Weiss said.

Assistant University archivist Janet Olson said NU’s architecture is similarly wide-ranging.

“The thing about the Northwestern campus is the number of styles represented here, which I think is sort of echoed in Evanston,” Olson said. “The variety of our buildings, I think it’s part of Northwestern’s charm.”

Weiss estimated the book mentions as many as 18 structures related NU, including Shakespeare Garden and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Other locations include the Grosse Point Light Station, Church of All Souls, United States Post Office, Clark Street Beach House and private residences.

Weiss and co-authors Stuart Cohen, Kris Hartzell, Heidrun Hoppe and Laura Saviano wrote about 30 locations each for the book. After picking the final locations, they spent an additional year researching and collecting photography of the buildings.

One of the team’s goals was to spotlight female architectural influence. Weiss said landmark houses are typically named after men, but the authors chose to title the properties using the last names of their owners, a “radical” decision. The book includes designs from two female architects.

Weiss said another goal was to draw attention to places in Evanston that are often overlooked.

“My perspective was to make sure we had a balance of modest homes, not just a tabletop book of all the pricey homes,” Weiss said. “These are houses in Evanston that I’ve seen over the years, that I just really, really love, and people don’t know about them.”

Summer reporter Annie Bruce can be reached at [email protected]edu. Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/anniefb13.

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