Evanston’s Preservation Commission Tuesday approved the destruction of a vacant lakefront mansion and the construction of a new one in its place.


Marc Bushala, owner of 100 Greenwood St., cited aesthetic issues with the current house. Previous owners have made additions to the structure, and the architecture of the additions is inconsistent with the style of the original house, he said.

“This has been an abomination for years,” commissioner Emily Guthrie agreed.

So, the property owner decided to scrap the house and start from scratch. He and his architects presented the design for the new house to the commission.

The new house, which would be located in a historic district, would look different than nearby homes.

“We’re not trying to make a house that looks like it was built in some other era,” architect Chip von Weise said. The area already lacks architectural consistency, so contemporary architecture would not stand out, he said.

The design does achieve some consistency with other houses in terms of mass and by adopting vertical windows and a stone stile base, which are common in neighboring houses, he said.

The design is 11,000 square feet, compared with the 16,000 square feet of the current house. Only one section of the design has three floors, while all sections of the current house have three floors.

Further, the new design scraps the current house’s swimming pool and provides a garage that is partially underground.

The design also includes a green roof and may include solar panels depending on the Bushala’s budget.

One neighbor, however, requested that the commission postpone deciding on the plan until he could discuss it with Bushala.

The neighbor, Dermot Collins of 113 Dempster St., said in an email to the commission that was read during the meeting that the new design would violate a 1995 privacy covenant signed by the previous owners of 100 Greenwood St. and adjacent properties.

Bushala responded to the concerns in his own e-mail and reiterated his points during the meeting. He also said that the covenant, being a civil issue, was not the commission’s concern.

The architects already shifted the proposed house to the north after neighbors said before the meeting that the new house would block their view of the lake.

The commission went ahead and approved the demolition of the current structure and the construction of the designed structure.

The existing home at 100 Greenwood St.

View 100 Greenwood in a larger map

Join the Conversation


  1. Wow
    I keep forgetting that there are those with endless money to spend on trivialities like tearing down a huge functioning house to build another.

    1. Don’t complain…
      Why would you complain about this? It does not affect you at all and it is putting people to work. Especially in the down construction business. This person is choosing to build a new place, why should you criticize him for spending his money and putting it into the economy? I keep forgetting that some in this town just refuse change and would rather have the old historic (rotting) mansions than letting people do what they want with their property which they had to spend a fortune to obtain. Come on people…

    2. What?
      What business is it of yours other than your obvious disdain for successful people, wheter inherited or EARNED.

      Sounds like a shallow political ideology to me…

  2. Congratulations, Mr. Bushala!
    The commission approved Mr. Bushala’s plans so he should be able to do with his own property whatever he desires.

    “One neighbor, however, requested that the commission postpone deciding on the plan until he could discuss it with Bushala.” What??? Whether he desires to tear down and rebuild really should not be up for public opinion, the commission has authority, not his neighbors.

    Congratulations on your new home, Mr. Bushala!

  3. Go Green!
    The dubious esthetics of the existing home notwithstanding, we should applaud this investment in green architecture. The proposed new house is not only smaller than the existing one, but it replaces a large driveway and swimming pool with permeable surfaces and landscaping, puts the garage below ground and employs geo-thermal heating and cooling, passive and active solar design, water conservation, a green roof, recycled and renewable building materials, etc. I’d say those are reasons to celebrate the decision to scape the existing house and build new!

  4. It’ll be interesting to see
    It’ll be interesting to see if the owner’s “green” approach will be apply to the demolition as well. Or will the entire kit and kaboodle go to landfill.

    The operative word is “deconstruction”. I’m sure there are metro area contractors that do it. (They might even bid for it.)

  5. new house 100 Greenwood

    I just saw the new house under construction and didn’t like it: the white brick; the brown ends on the butt-and-pass corners; the flat roofs; the wood interior framing (instead of light steel). It is relatively small and unobtrusive. Q: Will it conserve yet more electricity by having tubular skylights? Q: Will it follow advice in FEMA 320 to have a “safe room”?

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.

Your email address will not be published.