It is 130,000-square-feet and it has two – yes that’s two – NHL sized ice skating rinks, two full gymnasiums, a library, a 200-meter running track, a dance studio, nine locker rooms, an art room and a child care facility. But that’s not all.
Outside there are fields for soccer, football, baseball, softball, lacrosse and field hockey. The reality is that there is so much going on at the Robert Crown Community Center, 1801 Main St., it is very likely you have no idea just how much is going on there.
That is why last Saturday, Oct. 29, dozens of the groups affiliated with the center as well as the city’s library and recreation programming staff and the Friends of the Robert Crown Center hosted “A Day in the Life of Crown,” to give people a taste of the the activities there.
There was music, dance, a chance to wander through the 6,000 square-foot library. Omar Brown led FAAM basketball and cheerleading activities in the gym and Evanston’s own Suite Mollie band provided a soundtrack.
The ice rinks were crazy busy: Evanston Township High School Girls Hockey team played a game (below). So did the Elmira Mammoth minor league professional hockey team, playing against the St. Jude Hockey Club. The ETHS Boys Varsity Hockey Team also played Libertyville High School.
There were also figure skating demonstrations – as well as a chance for everyone to get on their own skates and take to the rink.
Evanston Dance Ensemble performed Common Ground, a dance choreographed especially for the community center.
The building isn’t just busy, it’s also recognized for its community architecture. In 2021, the American Public Works Association named the center the country’s best project, and this September the Chicago Chapter of American Institute of Architects added its award for top designs.
The party also provided a moment for Friends of the Robert Crown Center, the event’s host along with City of Evanston Parks Recreation and Community Services, to announce its $200,000 matching gift program, which is mean to close out the $15 million capital campaign that helped build the facility.