Five Evanston architects were feted at a special event Thursday evening, culminating a two-year collaboration that resulted in a book that tells the history of Evanston through its architecture.

An engrossed reader

Evanston: 150 Years, 150 Places is a 185-page book, published in both hardbound and softbound editions, by Design Evanston, a 33-year-old not-for-profit organization that promotes good design in Evanston.

The five architects that produced the book to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Evanston were Stuart Cohen, Kris Hartzell, Heidrun Hoppe, Laura Saviano, and Jack Weiss.

At the book-signing, held in the lobby of the downtown headquarters of First Bank Evanston, each of the authors showed slides of pages from the book and told stories over wine and cheese about the joys and pitfalls of the venture.

Weiss, who is also president of Design Evanston, said the first year was the “nominating year,” when the five met on a regular basis to suggest buildings that deserved to be among the 150 featured properties.

Cohen said it involved “a great deal of negotiating, with spirited discussions about what should be in and what should be out” of the book.

Jack Weiss

Then each author took on the task of investigating the background and history of 30 buildings and wrote drafts for distribution and discussion by the group.

Saviano had the unenviable task of taking five different writing styles and editing them into a cohesive document, while Weiss served as the graphic designer, assembling contemporary photographs of the buildings.

Stuart Cohen 

The finished product lists the address of each building and provides a map to enable readers to find them easily as they drive about the city.

The book is now available for sale to the public through the Design Evanston website.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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