Evanston History Center officials say they will begin a phased re-opening of its building next month.

Evanston History Center officials say they will begin a phased re-opening of its building next month.

Director Eden Juron Pearlman says the group has made safety improvements to the Charles Gates Dawes House at 225 Greenwood Ave. and has been given the go-ahead to re-open by the Evanston Fire Department and Northwestern University.

Pearlman said that the basement research room of the history center will re-open to the public on Tuesday, Feb. 3.

The research room will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1-4 pm.

Reservations will be required as the capacity for the research room is capped at five researchers.

People interested in using the local history research collection should email evanstonhs@northwestern.edu or call (847) 475-3410.

Information about the collection is available on the center’s website.

Pearlman says new tours, exhibits and programming at the Dawes House will start in May to coincide with the annual Mother’s Day House Walk on May 10.

This year the house walk will focus on Daniel Burnham’s life in Evanston in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of the Burnham Plan of Chicago.

Plans for the grand re-opening also include community open houses throughout May and many special events to begin in May and continue through the summer.

The Dawes House has been closed to the public since April 2008 due to the need to remediate the safety issues and renegotiate its lease with Northwestern University, which owns the property.

Pearlman says the history center’s board is continuing its negotiations with the university regarding the long-term preservation of the Dawes House.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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