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June 20, 2018

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Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Frances Gasbarra

Evanston Beach Erosion
Recently, I was made aware of the wonderful Evanston Lakehouse Garden plan. As you reported, Alderman Ann Rainey, the only past supporter of a private buyer to buy and build on Harley Clarke Mansion, as a hotel, has proposed a vote for demolition of a valuable asset, for nothing more than the cost of demolition.
To make a dune?
Yet, after a brief Google research about our beaches, it seems as though there are miles of issues and loss of beach areas affecting Chicago and the North Shore.
Can I challenge you to delve a bit deeper and report on the Army Corp of Engineers’ 2016 report and recommendations for Evanston’s beach health, especially south of Northwestern campus?
I see the Water Department will be increasing capacity for water purchasing from neighboring communities with a pump house in the Fifth Ward.
The Lighthouse public beach is fenced off from the mansion. It ends near the long bulkhead extending a football length or more into the lake, affecting the ebb and flow of water movement.
The Dunes Lakefront proposition is impossible to execute and maintain.
What is the bigger story of real beach renovation and maintenance needs of Evanston?
The Lakehouse Gardens folks will get funding to do a marvelous job and programing.
I know Evanston citizens and folks beyond the borders would support a wonderful project like this, as they supported the Art Center.
This would add yearlong opportunities to enjoy the lake from a magical sheltered historic home.
Evanston folks are about caring for each other and creating venues that inspire our citizens to use their talents: sports, arts, health, storytellers, albeit all age minds.
Maybe the Dunes folks could support the Mansion folks or move south to where the majority of beach folks need assistance.
But what is the true need of the Evanston water border? Can you help shed some light? Thank you for your kind consideration. And thanks you the important work you do in providing articles spotlighting our town, our needs and our celebrations.



Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Guy Benson

Sustainable Public Green Space
Before we all start shedding a lot of tears over the possible demolition of the Harley Clarke mansion, that temple of white privilege, built in 1927 (barely "historical") by a haute-bourgeois who owned a utilities monopoly, we need to consider what the Lighthouse Dunes organization is offering us.
You would think, judging from the full page ad by the ELHG board, that land- hungry developers are attempting to build a megamall there or something. The ad conveniently leaves out any mention of the virtuous intentions of the Lighthouse Dunes group.
Here we have an opportunity – paid for yet – to establish an ecologically sustainable public green space for the lakefront, also expanding the current Ecology Center.
It’s a place that could be enjoyed by all.
The ELHG's accusation that the Lighthouse Dunes group is “undemocratic” is laughable: accusations like this only create confusion and division.
Anyone who wants to gather at the site when the wrecking ball arrives for Harley Clarke’s mansion can bring a bottle of wine and sadly make a toast. Someone could even bring a violin.



Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Sarah Russell

No Historical Significance
It appears that many well intentioned citizens lost site of a fundamental truth about the Harley Clarke mansion completed in 1927, it is a large, poorly maintained building of no historical significance.
Built by a utilities magnate, in 1949 it was sold to a fraternity and used as their national headquarters until 1965 when the City of Evanston assumed ownership. It was then used by the Evanston Arts Center until 2015. This structure is not the Parthenon.
The Evanston Lighthouse Dunes group prepared a carefully reasoned and fully funded proposal to optimize usage of this space. Creation of new public space will resolve the issue in a fiscally sound manner while maintaining access to the beach, lighthouse, and fog houses.
I strongly support the efforts of this group to effect restoration of this area to its natural state.
The City of Evanston is confronting a challenging financial future. Following many years of analysis and debate the matter of the “Harley Clarke mansion” needs to be put to rest. This will enable City Council to focus on more urgent matters.



Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Lucia Miller


Make the Mansion Accessible
As the discussion about the future of the Harley-Clarke mansion drags on, I continue to wish that the interior will become accessible to all, including seniors like me, who would enjoy being able to sit by its large windows and enjoy the wonderful views of sand dunes and lake, with children playing on the beach in summer and gulls and terns gathered in winter. And always the lake, the elegant, sustaining waters of Lake Michigan.
This marvelous structure reminds us of days long gone. I love the reminder of a leisurely, gracious life-style few of us lived but which is preserved there in its carved blonde woodwork and intricate stone.
At 90 I can’t romp through the dunes or play on the beach, or even find a good spot to sit and enjoy the lake, but I yearn for the privilege of enjoying them all again from a comfortable vantage point.
Whatever other good uses the building is put to I hope that my peers and I would be able to enjoy the view.



Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Frances Gasbarra

Evanston Beach Erosion: Recently, I was made aware of the wonderful Evanston Lakehouse Garden plan.

As you reported, Alderman Anne Rainey,
the only past supporter of a private buyer to buy and build on Harley Clarke Mansion, as hotel, has proposed a vote for demolition of a valuable asset, for nothing more then the cost of demolition. To make a dune?
Yet, after some a brief google research about our beaches, it seems as though there are miles of issues and lost of beach areas effecting Chicago and the North Shore.

Can I challenge you to delve a bit deeper and report on the Army Corp of Engineers 2016 report and recommendations for Evanston's beach health especially south of NWU campus.

I see the Water dept will be increasing capacity for water purchasing from neighboring communities with a pump house in the 5th ward. The Lighthouse public beach is fenced off from the Mansion, it ends near the long bulkhead extending a football length or more into the lake effecting the ebb and flow of water movement.
The Dunes Lakefront proposition is ? Impossible to execute and maintain?

What is the bigger story of real beach renovation and maintenance needs of Evanston??
The Lakehouse Gardens folks will get funding to do a marvelous job and programing. I know Evanston citizens and folks beyond the borders would support a wonderful project like this, as they supported The Art Center. This would add year long opportunities to enjoy the lake from a magical sheltered historic home. Evanston folks are about caring for each other and creating venues which inspiring all of our citizens talents: Sports, arts, health, storytellers, albeit all age minds.
Maybe the Dunes folks could support the mansion folks or move south to where the majority of beach folks need assistance?!
But what is the true need of the Evanston water border? Can you help shed some light?

Thank you for your kind consideration.

And thanks you the important work you do in providing articles spotlighting our town, our needs and our celebrations.

Warm regards!



Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Barbara Carlson

The May 17 RoundTable delivered devastating news for Evanston taxpayers. The lead story, about Smylie Brothers Brewing backing out of the recycling center lease, shows a complete lack of leadership by City Management and City Council.
This building, at a prime commercial location, has been vacant for upwards of eight years. And yet no income or tax revenue has been generated, and the lease holder is backing out of the lease.
It seems Smylie got a better deal in Chicago.
Then consider the Harley Clarke mansion debacle. This building forced its tenant, the Evanston Arts Center, to vacate four years ago. No tangible progress has been made to determine a future for this property – also sitting vacant, and not generating tax revenue.
Evanston homeowners are more than tired of the fiscal mismanagement that continually burdens homeowners. Now there’s a budget crisis, with difficult decisions about forced cuts.
I’m very, very disappointed in this City’s leadership.



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