Historic house to be moved to Evanston

Stephanie Kelly, Assistant City Editor

A house built by a noted architect will be moved from its original location in Wilmette to Evanston, according to a city news release.

The move to the new Evanston site will begin on Friday. The house, currently at 1318 Isabella St. and built in 1928 by John Van Bergen, will be kept in a parking lot at Isabella Street and Green Bay Road until the project is completed.

In 2012, a builder bought the house, called the John Van Bergen Irving House, and planned to demolish it, but staff at Landmarks Illinois, a statewide organization focused on historic preservation, wanted to prevent the house’s demolition, said Lisa DiChiera, the director of advocacy for Landmarks Illinois.

“It’s an important, architecturally significant house that had never been officially landmarked to be protected,” DiChiera said.

Instead of demolishing the house, the builder constructed a house next to it and sold the John Van Bergen Irving House to a second builder. The second builder bought it with the intent to demolish it, DiChiera said.

That was when they realized they had to move the house, she said.

Project coordinator Christopher Enck took the project on and originally decided to move the house to Highland Park, Illinois, DiChiera said. When the moving route proved to be too expensive, he found the lot in Evanston.

The house will be moved in three sections by a truck, according to the news release. Traffic will be rerouted for the move, and a police escort will lead it.

DiChiera said the house will work better in Evanston because it’s a shorter moving route and closer to its original location in Wilmette.

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