The City of Evanston’s Housing & Community Development Act Committee is seeking public input from the Evanston community regarding the redevelopment and potential uses of the city-owned site at 1817 Church St. The committee is sharing with the community historical documents to provide background, as well as information on the current condition of the site.

Supporting documents: 1993 RFP; 2010 RFP; and 2011 Building Condition Information

Any public comments regarding the site will be heard at the April 26, 2011 meeting of the Housing & Community Development Act Committee (7:30 p.m. in 2404 of the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.). There will be a walk-through of the building on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m.

The site is a rectangular lot of 5,600 square feet with 35 feet of frontage on Church Street and a depth of 160 feet. It is located on the north side of Church Street near its intersection with Dodge Avenue. The building on the site was constructed in 1927 and contains approximately 4,100 square feet of space. It has been used for both commercial and residential purposes. The front portion is three stories and the rear is a single story. It is flanked by commercial structures with abutting walls, therefore has windows in the front and rear only. Its French Second Empire architectural styling contributed to its designation as a local landmark in 1996. The City of Evanston purchased the property at 1817 Church Street in 1976. The building housed various social services agencies and served as an outpost for the Evanston Police Department.

In 2001, the property was sold to the West Evanston Citizens District Council for the purpose of establishing a Black American Heritage House and Technology Center that would contribute to the revitalization and redevelopment of the Church-Dodge neighborhood business district and serve primarily the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. Community Development Block Grant funds were provided by the City of Evanston for part of the rehab work. The facility was reclaimed by the City of Evanston in 2007 because the building was not open to the public according to the terms of sale, and the public benefit required based on the investment of federal funds was not accomplished.

Please contact Sarah Flax in the City of Evanston’s Community and Economic Development Department at sflax@cityofevanston.org or 847/448-8684 with any questions.