Evanston’s Preservation Commission voted to reject plans for a contemporary home on a vacant lot in a lakefront historic district Tuesday, and the property owners vowed to appeal the decision to the City Council.

Two years after owners Adam and Susan Sabow first sought a certificate of appropriateness from the commission, and after various revisions to the design and consultations with complaining neighbors, the owners’ representative, former Preservation Commission Chair Gary Shumaker, said they weren’t willing to make further changes to the plans.

Gary Shumaker.

Commission members, while insisting they weren’t opposed to a contemporary style home on the property, picked away at the design from architect Fred Wilson of Evanston-based Morgante Wilson Architects.

Suzi Reinhold said the design needed some modification to reflect the character of the neighborhood.

A diagram showing heights of the proposed home and its neighbors.

Elliott Dudnik said a drawing provided by the applicants showing the heights of neighboring buildings “was really misleading” because a lot of the other roofs slope back.

Ken Itle said the proposed materials for the home were “too busy” and that the windows facing the street should be “more restrained.”

Philip Crihfield.

Neighbors also continued their criticism.

Philip Crihfield, of 911 Edgemere, said the new building would dwarf his property and “steal our privacy” with views out its second floor windows into his yard.

Harry Lowrance, of 919 Edgemere, said the new house would create “a canyoning effect” for its neighbors.

Pauline Sheehan, of 920 Edgemere, said she has nothing against contemporary designs but believed “the scale and sensitivity to other properties is out of line with the unique nature of this street as a commons.”

The project has received a certificate of zoning compliance from city staff.

Related stories

Lot owners try again for lakefront home (6/12/18)

Lakefront land dispute resolved (1/10/17)

Plans for lakefront home tabled (5/18/16)

A dispute over intent (5/16/16)

Vacant lot was biggest sale last month (4/15/16)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.