Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has selected five residents to be members of a citizens committee that will try to come up with a plan for what to do with the lakefront Harley Clarke mansion.

The appointments are scheduled to be confirmed by the City Council at its meeting Monday night.

Those named to the group are:

The decision to appoint the group follows the failure to reach agreement on a deal for the state to use the building as offices for the Coastal Management Program of the Department of Natural Resources and the earlier rejection by the City Council of an offer from Col. Jennifer Pritzker to expand the building and turn it into a boutique hotel.

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Panel to ponder mansion’s fate

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Mansion Fate
    Would Mayor Tisdahl be able to comment on how the panel members were chosen? It would be interesting for residents to know if they’ve already formed similar opinions on what could be done with the mansion. The more I see of our city in action, the more I wonder if sometimes goals are realized by our officials because some panels that have been appointed shared a common view of our electorate… I’m not saying this is so, but I do wonder about it.

    1. Architects?

      I am wondering why there are apparently no architects on the panel. Surely some expertise in this area is warranted.

      1. Real Estate Developer with Historic Preservation Experience??

        Why didn't our mayor connect with anyone with real estate development experience?  There are several individuals in Evanston who are developers with extensive portfolios of historic preservation/adaptive re-use.

      2. Architects, etc.

        Shumaker is an architect.

        DiMarco formerly worked as a real estate agent.

        — Bill

    2. all points of view?

      It looks like at least 3 of the 5 are, what has been referred to variously, as NIMBYs or Anti-development or Open Space at Any Cost. How about someone who thinks that Col. Pritzker got a raw deal, and that, in retrospect might have been the best plan? She has demonstrated a good eye for rehab with the B&B's that are opened and close to opened. The detailed plan laid out in the website for her ideas looked like the best balance of use and preservation of open space.

      1. I concur. It looks like the

        I concur. It looks like the mayor has loaded the commitee with people that will not take a balanced approach to the will of Evanston citizens. Unfortunately, I think that we are looking for a tax increase to rehab the masion and bring it up to code. The mayor should not have been the only one to decide who would be on the commitee. We needed a realist selected.

        I will be surprised if they do not recommend that we keep the mansion at any cost.

        1. Three-fer

          Dear City of Evanston: Please tear down the mansion so we can have an even better view of Lake Michigan,  easier access to Lighthouse Beach, and less kissing up to Col. Pritzker. 

          1. level it
            Level the Mansion and make that area the designated location for ALL Summer Events such as FAIRS.

          2. Designated Location for ALL Summer Events?

            By all means, let's have ALL summer events on that property.  All the better to be exclusionary to Evanston residents in the south, southwest and west.  Why would we ever want to share events with those areas?  As a matter of fact, we should soon declare the gas emanating from James Park to be such a health issue that we can close it down, thus eliminating any possibility of us having to hold an event there!  (For those of you who might actually think I'm serious here, this comment is utterly melting with sarcasm.)

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