Fountain Square

Prompted by Mayor Lorraine Morton, the City Council Monday directed city staff to take immediate steps to improve maintenance at Evanston’s Fountain Square.

Fountain Square

The orange balconies of Optima Towers reflect in the stagnant water of a broken fountain in the square this morning.

The mayor said she was “immensely embarrassed” that no flag was flying in the square on Memorial Day, and she read a letter from a veteran’s group complaining about that oversight and the overall condition of the downtown plaza, which holds plaques commemorating 351 Evanstonians who died in the nation’s wars.

She said that she walked through the square again on Sunday and “almost had a fit” about the conditions.

“Fountain Square is a disgrace. There’s water standing in the fountains making them a breeding ground for mosquitoes. In one place the water was as deep as my hand,” she said, “There’s dirt and leaves all over.”

“People there were asking me why an affluent city like Evanston would allow something commemorating people who gave their lives for our freedom look that way,” Mayor Morton said.

She called for immediately spending downtown tax increment financing funds to fix up the square.

City Manager Julia Carroll said she’d talked to staff and “they admitted they messed up by not having the flag flying.”

She said she’d have the staff take immediate steps to clean up the square and prepare a report on the cost of fixing the fountain and the decaying concrete plaza structure.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Fountain Square is a disgrace
    Sure the staff “messed up by not having the flag flying” on Memorial Day. But Fountain Square didn’t get to be such a mess because someone forgot to do something on one weekend.

    The square has been neglected for years, and it seems the city is just waiting for some developer to put up a high-rise on that block and offer to fix up the square as a bribe to get approval for the project.

    Why isn’t it the city’s responsibility to take care of public spaces, especially the war memorial? Why isn’t maintenance of Fountain Square in the budget?

  2. Fountain square is nothing new in the citys misuse of funds!
    People should not be so upset here about fountain square – this is how the city of Evanston and the school districts have operated here for years! That is divert building funds to public officials pet projects and funded thier friends special projects.

    The leaking roof that destoried the mural at Oakton – why wasn’t it fixed along before the mural was destoryed? Do you think children were exposed to toxic chemicals from the mural paint? Does any school board member care? Then our state representative comes along and waste $100,000 of all the taxpayer money of Illinois to fix it. The district is still misusing building funds now they are purchasing computers with funds that are for buildings.

    The civic center – the council wants another study with 4 options – why can they just fix the roof? When are they going to remove the scoffolding? The beauiful iron rail on the top is rusting away since they have not spent any money to paint it! All over town there are examples of the city and school districts misuse of our tax dollars.

    What are they waiting for on Robert Crown? Will the roof come down? I asked them the question if Robert Crown had structural issues which they claimed why not shut it down since it poses a risk? They then stated there were no structural problems. Ofcourse they have no clue. The make $ 1 million dollars in revenue on it yearly. They will not shut it down they just will not maintain it.

    There is such a long list here of misuse of our tax dollars -recently the city proposed selling the Art center – since they did not want to spend $500,000 to repair the facade – interestingly enought they rent the space for a $1 a year.

    By the way the city’s new parking garage by the movie theatres they have unfinished rental space the city owns with no floor in it. They are not renting out – here again more misuse of our tax dollars.

    Why is the Mayor upset? Doesn’t she go to all the meetings? Go take a look at the Levy center the wood sun shade will need replaced in a few years it is starting to rot away – No doubt this will cost us $50,000 plus to replace, and it is less than ten years old! Aren’t we replacing pavers down town we just put in? less than ten years ago – What about the $3 million on the silly children’s libray renovation – did’t we just build that building? The list goes on and on. We can spend $3 million on the children library -but can’t renovate the branch libraries were we have single use toilets for men, women and children which are disgusting!
    almost worse than the foul water in foutain square.

    It just never ends!

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