Evanston is a highly desirable place for anyone to choose as home. Close to the lake, close to Chicago with excellent transportation, it has a vibrant downtown as well as significant architecture and excellent residential styles. It is no surprise that among architects who live in Evanston a significant number have been educators either at Illinois Institute of Technology or at University of Illinois at Chicago.
Here is a brief Who’s Who of architects who have called Evanston home:
The late Richard Whitaker, who spent many years as dean of the School of Architecture at UIC, lived in the northern half of a historic double residence designed by Walter Burley Griffin and located at the northeast corner of Ridge Avenue and Dempster Street.
A former department chair at IIT’s School of Architecture, George Schipporeit, lived at 1225 Asbury Avenue, in a Bauhaus-style house he designed. He was the architect of the white-frame high rise at the northeast corner of Sherman and Grove, originally built as speculative, now occupied by Rotary International. In addition, his was the groundbreaking, dark-grey-painted high-rise building at Davis Street, the home of several different banks.
John Seivertsen, head of the Chicago office of international architectural firm Cannon, was formerly on the UIC faculty and active in the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Elliott Dudnick, designer of the new community building at Mason Park at the southwest corner of Florence Avenue and Church Street, recently retired from UIC, where he was for many years in charge of the building technology curriculum. Elliot has, over the years, designed a variety of small city structures.
Michael Gelick, a resident on South Boulevard, is still at UIC in the Design Studio. His elegant, well-conceived townhouses on the south corner of Church Street and Asbury Avenue have enriched the area since they appeared.
The team of Stuart Cohen and Julie Hacker design and remodel many homes in Evanston and along the North Shore. Stuart recently retired from his long tenure in design at UIC, the same department where Julie received her degree.
Another retiree from UIC School of Architecture, George Hines, was a long-time resident who has moved to Chicago – but still thinks of Evanston as home.
The late Larry Perkins spent many years as adjunct faculty at UIC, rewarding students with educational tours of European architecture. Larry was the son of another famous Evanston architect – Dwight Perkins – designer of Lincolnwood School and for whom Dwight Perkins Woods is named.
Finally, this writer was head of an active firm – John Macsai & Associates – and simultaneously a member of the faculty at UIC for more than 20 years, teaching and heading housing design. He also team-taught with an attorney a course in architectural practice and was the principal author of the book “Housing” (John Wiley & Sons), used nationally as a textbook for many years. One of his designs is Evanston Place, the twin apartment building on the east side of Chicago Avenue between Church and Clark Streets.
Architecture has been enriched by many practitioners who have chosen Evanston as the most desirable place to live and raise their families. A long list of architects call Evanston home and enrich this environment and the environments of many other locations who are not yet teachers – but who one day may.