Northwestern University officials today unveiled what they’re calling a “framework plan” for how the Evanston campus may develop over the next half century.

The plan, developed by a committee of faculty, staff and students and designed by Sasaki Associates, calls for reducing the size of the lakefill campus lagoon to accommodate new buildings and replacing many existing buildings on campus.

It also envisions moving parking to the edge of the campus and creating new campus gateways and strengthening the campus identity along Sheridan Road.

And it calls for creating a new campus edge along Clark Street that engages downtown Evanston.

More details of the plan are available in a university news release and a story in the Daily Northwestern.

The plan itself is also available online.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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12 Comments

  1. NU new master plan is a worst problem than their not paying tax
    Reviewing the plan – NU is basically blocking access to the lake and path for the residents of Evanston.

    The south end does not allow clear movement on to campus. Everyone will lose access to the current bike and jogging paths.

    One of the nice points of Evanston is there is a very large amount of the lake front accessable to the public with very little private property limiting access such as in the other North Shore suburbs.

    If this plan moves forward – all residents of Evanston will suffer. While NU is a private Unversity is gets plenty of taxpayer money (federal). So it is not so private.

    I would like to know the position of our council members – to this plan. Lets not have another AT@T box screw up!

    Is NU intentional doing this to limt access to Evanston residents? From a planning perspective it does not appear that difficult to maintain the current pathways and continue their development.

  2. NU should expand upwards
    Junad wrote:
    “One of the nice points of Evanston is there is a very large amount of the lake front accessable to the public with very little private property limiting access such as in the other North Shore suburbs.”

    Well…since NU gets so much resistance whenever they buy property within the city, it seems that they need to make the most of the land that they currently own.

    As I have stated many times already, the solution is obvious: Let NU grow vertically! That way they would take up less surface area in Evanston – perhaps selling some of the property west of Sheridan, or moving out of the 1800 Sherman building, and they could even have more open green space on campus.

    What we need is a tower – a tall one, an extended index finger saying to the world that “We’re Number 1”.

    No, make that two towers. Let’s have NU put up a tower or two downtown. Put a little retail or private offices on the lower floors to bring in some tax revenue, but fill the upper floors with offices for Kellogg programs and others who don’t deal with undergrads and don’t need to be on the main campus. The additional workers will spend money downtown.

    1. Mr Who you are off topic again
      Who – this is not about towers- but blocking Lake access to community – please keep on topic.

      “inquiring minds” would like to know if you feel NU should limit access to the lake for Evanston Residents? ( Please do not get off topic with “Nimbyism”)

      NU does not need to build towers on the campus to keep the Lake access – the plan can be adjusted – to keep a strong path along the lake. Those involved clearly appear to not want this.

      1. access to lake

        Junad wrote:

        “inquiring minds” would like to know if you feel NU should limit access to the lake for Evanston Residents? ( Please do not get off topic with “Nimbyism”)

        Junad, perhaps it is ‘NIMBYism’ – on NU’s part. Maybe NU doesn’t want all the people running , biking, or rollerblading in its ‘back yard’ on the lakefront. You know how it is…’overcrowding’, ‘safety’, ‘preserving the unique culture’.

        However, unlike the NIMBYs of the CSNA or ECRD or Southeast Evanston Association – who are always eager to restrict the property rights of other people – Northwestern is keeping people off of its own property. Northwestern owns the property adjacent to the lake, right? They have allowed people to use the lakefront paths, on NU property, which NU constructed. Does that mean that they are required to do so in perpetuity? Not only that, are they required to make access to these paths convenient?

        NU does not need to build towers on the campus to keep the Lake access – the plan can be adjusted – to keep a strong path along the lake. Those involved clearly appear to not want this.

        Maybe the City can allow NU some exemptions from our silly building limitations in exchange for ‘public benefits’. Let NU build some towers (zoning variance) in exchange for granting access to a lakefront path (public benefit).

        1. Who – towers are not needed.
          Who you are too concerned about towers. NU can put more develop on the Lake without limit the access to the community.

          Who – as I stated NU while it calls it self a private university is well funded with tax dollars – which we all pay for – I am not talking about local but federal.

          The public access is not be limited to the lake front – since people could still go east-west – but the north-south movement is blocked – thus the enjoy is lost of biking it or walking along – there is no sound planning reason for this.

        2. Access to Lake Michigan
          Mr. WKW? should refer to Judge Aspen’s decision re Loyola University’s request to extend its campus East — which was denied. Prior to that decision NU had extended its campus (and did not take full advantage of what it could have built out and now cannot go further into the lake) but that campus extension is now covered by agreement of the states bordering Lake Michigan and NU does not have complete control.

          BTW if you find the building codes silly, perhaps you should move to Dallas or Houston, one of which has very liberal zoning laws. You could build a pig sty next to a tower.

          1. Judge Aspen , protection rackets, Gen. Dawes, and landfill
            Vito –

            Even though I am busy writing my treatise on Net Present Value for a colloquium at Kellogg, I decided to research some of your claims.

            First, the case with Judge Aspen and Loyola was about Loyola’s plans to expand in the lake in the 1980’s. I don’t see how it could be applied retroactively to NU’s plans in the 1960’s, especially since I believe that the state granted NU permission.

            But this got me to researching NU’s construction of the landfill. Why did they need to expand into the lake? Take a look at this quote:

            “Northwestern University..owned the most desirable real estate in Evanston along the Lake Michigan shore. When additional land was needed for expansion in the 1970s, the city objected and the university had to engineer a major landfill project on its shoreline to create more acreage.”

            [ from ‘The Role of the University in Public-Private Partnerships’, by Ronald C. Kysiak ,Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, Vol. 36, No. 2, Public-Private Partnerships: Improving Urban Life (1986), pp. 47-59. Of course, this is for entertainment purposes only. Mr. Who Knows does not believe in “political science”, and thinks that undergraduates should spend their time studying engineering, nursing..or , for those without scientific aptitude, Classical Greek and Egyptology. ]

            So this just proves my point.. we don’t want NU to expand in the city and take up more land. In the past, NU solved the problem by expanding outward into the lake, but that is no longer considered acceptable. We must now allow NU to expand UPWARDS, into the sky, with a tower that will be like an extended index finger proclaiming to the world that Evanston is #1.

            But back to the lake access issue..I was looking for evidence of your claim that NU’s campus is covered by an agreement with the other Great Lakes states, and still haven’t found it.

            But while I was searching, I found an article from Aug. 08, 1964 Tribune, “N. U. LAND FILL IS TAKEN OVER BY EVANSTON”. It seems that in August 1965, the city council tried to annex the land that NU just created – I think because the newly created land would not be within the city limits of Evanston without annexation – but also included a scheme to get NU to pay taxes for “police and fire protection”…yes, the old protection racket. I guess back then NU didn’t have its own police force, so the NIMBYs used fire AND police as excuses to shake down NU.

            I also saw an article July 14, 1964 “Ask Evanston to Annex N.U. Land Project” I noticed in that same article that the aldermen also passed a bill which imposed steep fines on trespassers, “a person who fails to leave the premises of another after he has been ordered to do so”. While I do support property rights, and feel that trespassers like the Gen. Dawes group should be punished , this bill was unfortunately aimed against civil rights demonstrators who were staging sit-ins at real estate offices in the city. Remember, behind the quaintness and charm of old Evanston , there was de facto segregation and the temperance union…boo!

          2. NU Expansion into lake
            Mr WKW?, as you prepare for your NPV opus, you might put down your abacus and do some further research. NU expanded into the lake with assistance from the city of Evanston. As with the Research Park, NU did not go all the way, instead of filling in to the extent that was then permitted, NU stopped short. NU was permitted 160 acres, but only filled in 80. Any additional expansion now is out of the question.

            Any further expansion into the lake has to be agreed by a number of state and federal entities. BTW the lagoon is considered part of the lake and NU was denied an attempt to fill it in for added land space. NU tried to expand west, hoping to close off Sheridan Road, but those terrible residents, forgetting that they should be vassals, and not wanting traffic through their neighborhood, prevented that. Shame.

            NU should expand upwards. Perhaps Calatrava can design another screw like tower, which would express NU’s attitude towards Evanston. With towers piercing the lakefront, NU could add to their meager endowment with revenue from advertising signage.

            BTW, NPV is old, old. How about mark-to-market?

          3. Mr Who – are you an engineer? Focus on the present and future!
            Mr Who wrote “Mr. Who Knows does not believe in “political science”, and thinks that undergraduates should spend their time studying engineering, nursing..or , for those without scientific aptitude, Classical Greek and Egyptology.”

            My inquiring mind would like to know? Are you an engineer? Are you a scientist?

            Are you an Urban Planner, since you seem to believe the solution to all our problems is tall buildings?

            You keep on quoting ancient articles ( makes me think you studied Egyptology ) as if they were fact. Bottom line – if you were not there you really do not know what happened – the press reports what it wants. Anyone who goes to meetings here and then reads what is in the press know the points maybe very different.

            Focus on the present – and the future.

            The issue is access to the public – the issue is to have a lake front that extends the length of Evanston the pulbic can enjoy. That has little to do with Nimbyism and NU property rights – it has to do with planning to exclude access to the public- and not working with the City to create a unified Lake Front.

            I have to wonder if NU was involved at all in the Lakefront plan of the city?

          4. lakefront
            Again, Junad, please look at one of your previous postings on this subject:

            “One of the nice points of Evanston is there is a very large amount of the lake front accessable to the public with very little private property limiting access such as in the other North Shore suburbs.”

            Why does Evanston have such a large amount of accessble lakefront? It is because Northwestern has built this lakefront path, and made it accessable to the public.

            Evanston has too many NIMBYs and cranks who always blame NU for everything. Northwestern should just not allow those people access to their campus. A simple “No Entry without a Wildcard” sign would be sufficient – and trespassers could be prosecuted under the infamous 1964 anti-civil rights trespassing ordinance, if it is still on the books.

            Students , staff, and faculty members at NU (such as Mr. Who Knows, who teaches a course on Net Present Value in the Department of Economics, crosslisted with Political Science) will have access to the beautiful lake. The NU-haters can hang out at the dark musty old Dawes House (assuming that they can raise enough money to purchase it from NU).

          5. Mr. Who Knows What? the scholar
            Mr WKW? declares himself a teacher at NU, no doubt with full tenure and probably on the search committee to replace Bienen.

            Since he is a renowned scholar in No Present Value (Nubile Prize in Pseudo Economics 2008) and Political Scatology (Chavez Prize 2007), and also mark-to-market and moral hazards, perhaps he can nominate Franklin Raines. If not for NU, then perhaps for Finance Director for the City of Evanston, where he could cook the books, provide a huge pay increase as a bonus for the Council, and dispose of that messy little problem of the pension funds.

            NIMBYs and NUphobes would have to register and carry a Bilecard that would deny them access to the campus and any towers in Evanston.

            BTW NU isn’t to blame entirely. A City Council that cowers before NU, and the fawning NUphiles, must share the onus.

          6. Who – I doubt you teach at NU
            Who as you stated –

            “Students , staff, and faculty members at NU (such as Mr. Who Knows, who teaches a course on Net Present Value in the Department of Economics, crosslisted with Political Science) will have access to the beautiful lake.”

            WHO be careful NU might not like the fact you are impersonating a faculty member.

            You need to study the plan it does not stop access to the lake for anyone – it just diminish the use of the lakefront and even by NU students and others. It is not allowing a connection to the rest of Lake front.
            NU students will also lose the use of the connection to Evanston lake front!

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