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Posted inEvanston History

Evanston Dimensions | Ask the historians

After our last column, Holly Martin submitted the following question for historians at the Evanston History Center: “So a few years ago after I moved back to Evanston as an adult I found myself walking around downtown by Fountain Square. And suddenly I notice this plaque on a building with the name “Chandlers.”  Is this where my beloved planner came from?”

Posted inArt & Life

Turnaround Park marks the spot

Like many people, Evanston resident Sera Young faced last year’s COVID-19 lockdown with a combination of dread and boredom. “We were going crazy at home,” she recalled. So she started “doing O’s” with her family, that is, taking long looping walks around the neighborhood. That’s when she noticed the “unappreciated little park” on the east […]

Posted inArt & Life

Evanston Dimensions | A shifting shoreline, part 3

Legalized Restrictions In 1920, Evanston City officials paid $6,000 a year to advertising specialist Charles Ward “to extol the advantages of the summer suburb as a summer resort.” [1] The campaign was a success. As a result, in July 1921, City Council members declared that Evanston’s “hometown folks” were being “crowded out of their own […]

Posted inArt & Life

Evanston Dimensions | A shifting shoreline, part 2

Policing the beaches In the direct wake of the 1919 Chicago race riot, Evanston City officials would intensify the monitoring of the City’s beaches. Part of that process involved establishing expanded safety procedures, including hiring more official beach guards (aka lifeguards). Prior to World War I, there were only a handful of official beach guards […]

Posted inArt & Life

Evanston Dimensions | A shifting shoreline, part 1

Beaches today are widely viewed as sites of recreation, relaxing places where land meets sea. But the history of these sites is nothing if not natural. Evanston’s lakefront has undergone both physical and symbolic changes over the years, from being viewed as fraught with peril for ships and bathers alike to being seen as communal […]

Posted inArt & Life

Evanston Dimensions | Ask the Historians

After our last column, Libby Hill submitted the following question for historians at the Evanston History Center: In the 1950s, several City departments were run out of red brick two-story buildings on what I think was Maple. One was the Health Department. Perhaps simultaneously, perhaps following those buildings, City offices were in a grey limestone-looking […]