Despite a lawsuit filed by three neighbors last week, work on Northwestern University’s new visitors center got underway this week with clearance of trees from the lakefront site.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz told the Chicago Tribune the university has approval from the city for the work, and university officials noted that they were not named in the suit filed by the residents against the city.

The $32 million construction project includes a 435-car parking garage as part of the visitors center building.

The proposal was rejected by the city’s Preservation Commission, but the City Council overruled the commission and voted to approve the project.

Top: Construction site photo by Evanston Now reader Jane Fulton Alt. Above: An NU rendering of the south campus area, showing the visitors center at lower left, just to the right of the red-brick Fisk Hall, and the planned new music school complex at the far right.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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