Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to vote on whether to accept the city’s application for appeal of the Preservation Commission’s denial of a certificate of appropriateness for demolition of the lakefront Harley Clarke mansion.

If the vote is to accept the appeal, the City Council will hold a hearing on the appeal next month. If the motion fails, or no motion is made for the appeal, then the decision of the commission would be final.

Evanston voters approved an advisory referendum last month that called for saving the mansion, if it could be done at minimal or no cost to taxpayers.

But since the city rejected a commercial redevelopment proposal for the mansion in 2013, no organization has emerged during the with the funding to accomplish that.

A group of residents has offered to cover the cost of demolishing the building and delivered the estimated $400,000 required to accomplish that.

The aldermen voted 5-3 in July to accept the proposal for demolition.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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