If yard signs are any indication, active opposition to the proposed sale of Evanston’s Harley Clarke mansion is highly localized.
A windshield survey this morning of more than a dozen blocks in the immediate area around the mansion turned up at least 44 homes with copies of the yard signs distributed by activists organizing opposition to the sale.
That ranged from all four homes on Sheridan Road directly opposite the mansion, through about a quarter of the homes on some close-in blocks to as few as one-in-ten homes just a little more distant.
And the the signs of support become really sparse further away from the lake. We spotted three signs on Asbury Avenue between Howard and Chuch streets, two signs on Dodge Avenue between Howard and Simpson Streets, one sign on Chuch Street between McCormick Boulevard and Asbury and no signs on a similar stretch of Emerson Street.
The east face of the Harley Clarke mansion.
Evanston aldermen will get a chance to judge the breadth of opposition for themselves tonight when they’re scheduled to discuss a request from the would-be purchaser of the mansion Col. James N. Pritzker, to clarify the city’s proposed terms for the sale.
Opponents are urging their supporters to turn out and speak at the public comment session during the meeting.
Pritzker, in response to a request for proposals from the city, has advanced the idea of expanding the mansion to create a 57-room boutique hotel that would have a 200-car underground parking garage.
The proposal would preserve public ownership of and access to the beach — but would transfer most of the rest of the mansion grounds to private ownership.