Downtown: Remember when?

When Evanston closed out its Downtown II tax increment financing district this year, the area was generating $9 million more annually in property tax revenue than it had 23 years earlier when the district was formed.

To dramatize the changes at the Joint Review Board meeting Thursday, Planning and Zoning Manager Dennis Marino showed off this 1980s vintage photo looking northwest from what’s now the Rotary International building.

If you’ve lived in Evanston for a while, perhaps you can name the old buildings in this photo yourself and recognize what they’ve been replaced with.

The TIF district that’s closed for the most part covered the area between the rail lines, from Davis Street at the bottom left of the photo to Emerson Street — just barely visible in the background.

In the 1980s it consisted largely of city and university-owned property that was off the tax rolls. Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says the TIF district has led to a 1000 percent increase in the taxable value of the land.

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