The Preservation Commission has agreed to take a closer look at plans to demolish two homes once owned by men who played significant roles in Evanston’s history.

1218 Elmood Ave.

One, a two-story home at 1218 Elmwood Ave., is listed as a local landmark. City records say it was the home of Henry Boltwood, the first principal and superintendent of Evanston Township High School, from 1888 until his death in 1906.

Owner Carole Brite said she and her husband bought the home last year, hoping to restore it, but that after an in-depth structural inspection they feel it is beyond repair. County records show they paid $503,000 for the property.

The commissioners Tuesday asked the owner to provide more information on the cost of rehabbing home compared to new construction and also scheduled a visit to the site by two commission members – an architect and a contractor – to gain a better understanding of the structural condition of the building.

The other property, a tiny cottage at 1119 Oak Ave., is listed as a significant structure in the Ridge Historic District. City records say it was built about 1873, the first of many homes in Evanston constructed by builder-developer James Wigginton, the founder of the Evanston Fuel & Material Company.

1119 Oak Ave.

County records show Mike Sieja, an Evanston resident and developer, bought the property in March for $460,000.

Last month commissioners asked Mr. Sieja to rework his plans and move the cottage to the rear of the lot rather than tear it down. On Tuesday he asked the commission to extend its 45-day time limit for voting on the project and invited commission members to visit the site and inspect the condition of the building.

Both proposals are now scheduled for action at the commission’s next meeting, June 20. If the commission denies a demolition request, its decision can be appealed to the City Council.

Related story
Commission wants cottage saved – April 19, 2006

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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