Business district gets new name, art display

Business owners around the Dempster-Dodge intersection in Evanston have come up with a new name for the district.

They're calling it "West Village" -- a name that may bring to mind the artsy district of the same name in Manhattan.

And to help capitalize on that thought, the Arts & Business Committee of Evanston's Arts Council is planning to expand its long-running Art Under Glass program to the Evanston Plaza shopping center in West Village. 

Arts Council Director Jeff Cory says the group is looking for large-scale work to display in a highly visible location -- in the free-standing building that was formerly the China Buffet restaurant site in the plaza.

The application deadline for artists interested in exhibiting their works is Monday, April 25.

For more information, call Cory at 847-448-8262. The application form is available here.

Comments

They're calling it "West Village"

Oh, yeah, that totally fits. Didn't Dylan write a song about the Dempster-Dodge intersection? Of course, it's gotten all gentrified now, what with the Dominick's and the Panino's.

In fact, before we look ahead to this cosmopolitan future let's take a moment to reflect on the plaza's fallen heroes: AJ Wright, Pizza Hut, Toys '?' Us, Frank's Nursery and Crafts, Gap Kids, Blockbuster and, yes, Discovery Zone. Your storefronts may have changed or become vacant, but your names live on...

Call it what you like.....

Call the blighted plaza what you like.  What a joke! Some real vision and planning with the people who live there should be the priority. Fact is , as it stands,  it is a sad and sorry gateway as you enter the edge of Evanston. For those of us in the near vicinity of Dempster and Dodge, throwing artwork in a long empty storefront is just  insulting !

Let's bring some desireable restaurants to join Panino's and some family friendly clothing stores. GAP  or a GAP outlet is a great idea. There never has been one there. i was at  Four Flags on Golf Road the other day. How is it Niles can figure out how to attract an Office Depot, Old Navy, Cece's Pizza Buffet,  and nice  cafes and ethnic restaurants to their community while we in Evanston cannot? Look at the obesity  and high blood pressure rates in Evanston's diverse population. Do you think that the food offerings at that corner might be to blame?. Each fast food chain that was allowed to flank that corner has only harmed our community more with long term health issues and created an abundance of trash for the neighbors to contend with. How about approaching a good produce chain like Garden Fresh to move in making organic veggies and fresh fish available to a greater segment of the population?  

Those of us who live there are glad to see PERLA Cafe and the HEARTWOOD Therapy Center (which should get a beautification award from the city!!)  trying to create a more welcoming neighborhood atmosphere than the Pay Day Loan Stores, and the abundant  currency exchanges. How about a real bank who might know how to sweep their sidewalk or plant some flowers? 

Heartwood

Heartwood did get a beautification award from the City.  It's called the Façade Improvement Program where the City contributes money for visual enhancements and Heartwood was an award recipient.

"Large Scale Works in a Visible Location"

That description sounds just like the bike-walking path along the canal and McCormick Ave. and located a few blocks west of the "West Village."

Evanston West Village

THe Evanston West Village encompasses large and small businesses, artists, craftspeople, wellness professionals and more who work and/or live  in the area from Dempster to Greenleaf/ Dodge to Wesley. THis is a group of positive, progressive, forward thinking and creative business people who have been meeting since late last year , engaging in a process of visioning and creating a new way forward into the future for this business and residential community; to bring new life, energy and positive focus to this eclectic, interesting and creative area of Evanston and to celebrate the areas many faces and forms of diversity.

THe sad plaza is only ONE corner of the West Village. And to that end  Alderman Braithwaite, the citie's economic development dept.,,the city manager and the mayor are all on record this year as prioritizing a postitive turn around in the plaza  - especially as new owners take over in the future . THe new West Village Business Community  is working closely with the city as those plans move forward. We have a strong vision of the potential of this area of Evanston and we plan to be "at the table."

  Besides the Art under Glass coming in the summer, the business group is sponsoring a West Village Festival May 20/21, with businesses and artists and more showcasing their work in the old China Buffet space facing Dodge- and entertainment and music happening simultaneously in the parking lot- yes the Dominicks  parking lot!!!!!!

This is just the beginning of what is to come in the future of  the Evanston West Village.  Stay tuned !  You never know when Bob Dylan, who is stil kickin' at 70,  just might decide to show up and create a new song !!!!

Things become what we expect them to be..

Things become what we expect them to be..

I love the name West Village and I love the art idea.

I still think that having a play area for small children would be a great way to get folks to come by.

Hooray for West Village and for the neighborhood!