A strike across the metro area by laborers union members has halted construction at the Sherman Plaza development in Evanston, but it didn’t interfere with Thursday’s scheduled opening of the city’s new parking garage at the site.

City Facilities Director Max Rubin said he asked city workers to try out the garage on their lunch hour yesterday.

“I was there like a proud father standing in the elevator, asking people what they thought,” Mr. Rubin said.

“People seemed to love the glass-backed elevators,” he added, though some folks would get in and face the front like in a normal elevator – “so we had to tell them to turn around and catch the view.”

Mr. Rubin said it’s important to get feedback from the first users of a new facility to figure out whether the signs actually tell people what they need to know. “When you’ve been working on the project, you already know your way around and can’t really tell whether the signs will work for someone who’s in the garage for the first time.”

“Everything seems to be OK. People seem to like it. It’s very bright, with the walls painted white, not dark like the old garage,” he said.

Parking at the new garage will be free from now through the Fourth of July holiday.

Mr. Rubin said the strike, which began Thursday, may delay completion of the remaining “punch list” items on the garage project.

The first of the condominiums and retails stores in Sherman Plaza are scheduled to open in August.

Related story
Chicago Tribune – Laborers call strike

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Glass elevators not a great idea
    I took advantage of the free parking offer and parked in the Sherman Plaza garage yesterday.

    Generally, it was a nice experience…as garages go. Getting to the pedestrian entrance from the east was something of a challenge because there’s no sidewalk on the north side of Davis. But that will be remedied with time.

    The elevator was a not-so-nice experience — the afternoon sun turned it into an oven. At 6 p.m., the temperature in the glass elevators was at least 15 degrees warmer than the temperature in the elevator lobby. Very uncomfortable to ride in and probably very expensive to cool (if they even try).

    As for the view, well, I couldn’t see much out the window — maybe it was the glare from the sun on the patterned glass.

    On a positive note — the signage was good.

    — Jan Smith

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