Evanston IL Talks Of Tearing Down the Harley Clarke Mansion

Last week I wrote a post about the Evanston IL Grosse Point Lighthouse and the Harley Clarke Mansion. We hear now that the City Of Evanston is considering tearing down the Harley Clarke Mansion. If you look at the building it is hard to tell without touring the inside that the building is in a deep state of disrepair.

Harley-Clarke-Mansion

For many years the building housed the Evanston Art Center and when an engineering report was done to find out what it would take to get the property back to city code the figure was in the millions. This property is beautiful and it was be a tragic if it were torn down.

Evanston Now a very popular news source for Evanston and people interested in the town has an article about this situation which I will quote:

“Evanston aldermen Monday will consider whether to move toward tearing down the city-owned lakefront Harley Clarke mansion.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz plans to tell the Human Services Committee that efforts to reach an agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources to convert the building into offices for its Coastal Management Program have failed and that he sees little chance of finding another prospective tenant who would meet the council’s goals for having only “low impact” uses at the site.

With the building’s current tenant, the Evanston Art Center, scheduled to leave by mid-year for its own renovated building on Central Street, Bobkiewicz says it’s important that the city not allow the deteriorating building to stand empty.

So he is asking aldermen to authorize him to seek estimates for “deconstruction” of the building — dismantling it in a way that would preserve as much as possible of its parts for possible reuse.

The city has been seeking a new use — and a deep-pocketed new user — for the mansion since mid-2011, when officials concluded it needed more expensive maintenance and rehabilitation work than the city could afford.

Aldermen rejected the only firm proposal for a new use — Col. Jennifer Pritzker’s offer to expand the mansion and turn it into a 57-room boutique hotel — 18 months ago, after neighbors organized a campaign opposing the deal.

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