Owner wins battle over landmarking


Evanston aldermen Monday rejected 7-2 a proposal from the city’s Preservation Commission to landmark a former single family home at 1726 Hinman Ave.

The owner of the property, the Sigma Chi Foundation, which has its headquarters next door, had requested city approval to demolish the building, when a resident who lives over a half mile away, Jim Kollross, launched a campaign to save it.

The Preservation Commission, which decades ago had excluded the building on the west side of Hinman, from the Lakeshore Historic District that includes homes on the other side of the street, jumped at the chance Kollross provided and approved the landmark designation unanimously, over the objection of the foundation.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, residents of the large condominium building next door at 1730 Hinman argued that 1726 should be preserved to maintain the views from their windows.

1726 Hinman, in a 2007 county assessor’s office photo.

Manuel Flores, an attorney for Sigma Chi, said landmarking would violate the foundation’s property rights and that Sigma Chi followed the city’s rules to seek demolition of the property.

Flores had previously estimated that it would cost the foundation over $3 million to upgrade the building.

Only aldermen Judy Fiske, whose 1st Ward includes the site, and Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, voted in favor of the landmark designation.

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Demo or landmark on Hinman? (6/12/17)

No landmarking without owner consent (6/14/17)

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