Evanston aldermen are scheduled to vote on a resolution tonight that would name the Civic Center after retiring Mayor Lorraine Morton.


Evanston aldermen are scheduled to vote on a resolution tonight that would name the Civic Center after retiring Mayor Lorraine Morton.

The resolution is on the agenda as a special order of business at the last meeting of the 77th City Council, before newly elected aldermen are sworn in later in the evening.

Morton, 90, served as a teacher and later principal in Evanston/Skokie School District 65 for 35 years until her retirement in 1989.

She served as 5th Ward alderman beginning in 1982 and has been mayor since 1993.

An effort earlier this year by members of the District 65 board to rename Haven Middle School for Morton was tabled after some Haven parents objected to removing the name of 19th century Evanston educator Erastus Haven from the building.

The council resolution doesn’t specify the cost of the new signage it would direct the city manager to install on the building.

Tonight’s City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The unusually early start is made possible by the cancellation of the night’s Planning and Development Committee meeting. That committee usually meets at 6:30 p.m.

Related story

D65 tables renaming of Haven School

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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12 Comments

  1. Civic Center may get mayor’s name
    Is that because she did so much to save it?

    Since Haven is out of the question – how about renaming something innocuous like Oakton School after her?

    1. Use of the Mayors name
      If this city is so determined to memorialize former mayor Morton, I suggest we use it on the most appropriate building posssible. The hotly contested new salt dome. What better name than the Morton Salt bin??? It’s a widely familiar name already, with plenty of brand recognition and a great looking logo.

        1. Did someone say Tower?
          “I agree – the Morton Salt Tower!

          So not only do you want to remove the Historic Salt Dome from its historic location near the Civic Center, but you want to change its name and replace it with a…Tower?

          The people of Evanston will not stand for this attack on our culture and history. Erastus Haven and Frank Civic are spinning in their graves.

          Save Evanston! Keep the Historic Salt Dome right where it is…no Towers.

    2. Morton Middle School, aka Haven
      Why is the Haven name change out of the question? She was the principal there. OR what about Morton Middle School aka Chute?

  2. Why would you claim that Oakton School is “something innocuous”?
    It’s a real school with real students, real parents and real teachers — not “something innocuous.” We don’t need a name change, no matter the name. I would oppose any change strenuously.

    Why don’t we rename the school that your children attend or the street where you live? I’ll bet that you’d like to have them referred to as “innocuous.” The Civic Center is a fitting tribute for Mayor Morton as she has worked so hard to save the building.

    1. Innocuous
      I don’t like the idea of naming schools or buildings after people, and I think that elementary schools should be named after the street where they are located , but this is silly:

      “Why don’t we rename the school that your children attend or the street where you live? I’ll bet that you’d like to have them referred to as “innocuous.”

      Go ahead…rename my elementary school – I don’t care. You can rename my street too. I don’t like the city spending money on trivial street renamings, but I am not emotionally attached to the name of the street or school.

  3. Naming the Civic Center
    The Civic Center should not be named after Mayor Morton, or anybody else.

    First, the idea of naming public buildings , streets or institutions after anybody is a bad idea in general ( I wish that my own institution did not name itself after the cereal heir, and I never refer to Washington’s National Airport by any other name. ) .

    But more importantly – in this case, I fear that naming the Civic Center after the mayor is just an attempt to get more support for the idea of keeping the old building.

    In order to recognize the history of the Historic Civic Center, I suggest that it be renamed, and referred to in all City documents, as “the obsolete Marywood schoolhouse”. That would put the building in its correct historical context.

  4. Civic Center may get mayor’s name
    Why name anything after her? Didn’t she leave the city a huge mess in a number of areas?

  5. As a representative of the
    As a representative of the Civic family, I object to renaming the Center.

    My great-grandfather, Frank Civic, was an upstanding citizen of the city and embodied all of the values that made this city great.

    Just a couple of years ago, there was a groundswell of support to save the Civic center–this was a result of the fact that the Civic family name is so revered by our fellow citizens.

    We must save our Civic history!

  6. Morton Civic Center
    I rather like the name Evanston. Didn’t Evans do something rather significant?

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