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Evanston aldermen Monday night are scheduled to award contracts totaling nearly $6.25 million for renovation of Fountain Square downtown.

The bids recommended for approval include $5.9 million to Compenhaver Construction to make the improvements and $345,000 to Christopher B. Burke Engineering for engineering services on the project.

A rendering of the planned expanded square at twilight, showing a new veterans memorial and fountain flanked by expanded seating areas. 

The work is to be funded mainly by the Washington National TIF, with additional money from general obligation bonds.

A twilight rendering of the expanded version of the traffic island south of the square, showing lights planned to be strung from trees over a new seating area.

It took over two years to come up with a final design for the project, and it’s expected to take roughly 18 months to do the renovation work — with completion now expected by August 2018.

The project calls for substantially reducing the north-south traffic lanes through the square. The rendering marks the current outlines of the square with dashed red lines.

The current design of Fountain Square dates from 1976. It replaced a post-World War II design dedicated in the 1950s that eliminated a traffic circle in the square that had been in place since the original fountain was installed in 1876.

A 1960s postcard image of the post-World War II fountain.

A 1930s postcard image showing a replica of the original 1876 fountain.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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