The City of Evanston’s Housing & Community Development Act Committee is seeking public input from the Evanston community regarding the redevelopment and potential uses of the city-owned site at 1817 Church St.

The City of Evanston’s Housing & Community Development Act Committee is seeking public input from the Evanston community regarding the redevelopment and potential uses of the city-owned site at 1817 Church St.

Public comments about the site will be heard at the committee’s April 26 meeting at 7:30 p.m. in Room 2404 of the Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave. There will be a walk-through of the building on Tuesday, March 29,  from 1 to 2 p.m.

The site is a rectangular lot of 5,600 square feet with 35 feet of frontage on Church Street and a depth of 160 feet. It is located on the north side of Church Street near its intersection with Dodge Avenue.

The building on the site was constructed in 1927 and contains approximately 4,100 square feet of space. It has been used for both commercial and residential purposes. The front portion is three stories and the rear is a single story. It is flanked by commercial structures with abutting walls, therefore has windows in the front and rear only.

Its French Second Empire architectural styling contributed to its designation as a local landmark in 1996. The City of Evanston purchased the property at 1817 Church Street in 1976. The building housed various social services agencies and served as an outpost for the Evanston Police Department.

In 2001, the property was sold to the West Evanston Citizens District Council for the purpose of establishing a Black American Heritage House and Technology Center that would contribute to the revitalization and redevelopment of the Church-Dodge neighborhood business district and serve primarily the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Community Development Block Grant funds were provided by the City of Evanston for part of the rehab work. The facility was reclaimed by the City of Evanston in 2007 because the building was not open to the public according to the terms of sale, and the public benefit required based on the investment of federal funds was not accomplished.

The committee is sharing with the community historical documents to provide background, as well as information on the current condition of the site.

Please contact Sarah Flax in the City of Evanston’s Community and Economic Development Department at or 847-448-8684 with any questions.

Related documents

1993 RFP

2010 RFP

2011 Building Condition Information

Related stories

City ponders future for derelict building

Museum project on the ropes

Photo gallery: What to do with 1817 Church St.

Join the Conversation


  1. Sell the 1817 Church building to the highest bidder

    Sell the property!

    About $170,000 in grant money has already been lost in the so-called museum project, and the city reclaimed the building it gave to the group after discovering it was in disrepair. The money is long gone, and it looks like the city did a poor job monitoring the project, which is why it should not get into the real estate business.

    Please do not GIVE it away.  Just cut the losses and sell.

    I wonder if the city plans to allow citizens to decide what to do with two recently purchased vacant two-flat buildings around the corner from 1817 Church, in the 1700 block of Darrow Ave? These buildings have been on and off the market for years and the best I can tell the city has not disclosed a specific reason of purchase or proposed use of these two buildings. The city probably paid six figures for these buildings at a time the city budget is in fiscal crisis mode.

    Another use of the 1817 Church building could be the Evanston Republican party headquarters 🙂

  2. Fast Food Court

    Make 1817 Church a fast-food court. People (and ETHS students) in that area of Evanston will help make it successful, and some of them can also get jobs serving and cooking for customers.

  3. Sell it!

    Sell it and use the proceeds to pay for the short-fall in the yard waste program.  Why are taxpayers paying for our city to purchase and manage real-estate anyway?  S E L L   I T !

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