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Panel to make mansion recommendations

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After receiving more than 1,000 responses to an online survey and holding a series of sometimes contentious meetings, Evanston's Harley Clarke Committee is scheduled to develop recommendations for the mansion's future at a final meeting tonight.

The committee, which is scheduled to present its report at a City Council meeting next week, has focused on five possible future uses for the now-vacant city-owned building that for decades housed the Evanston Art Center.

  • Continued city ownership of the building with renovation of it for some yet-to-be-determined use.
  • Selling the propertyto be renovated for a commercial use, such as a hotel or event space.
  • Selling the property for redevelopment for residential use.
  • Selling or donating the property to some philanthropic entity that would maintain it.
  • Demolishing the building to expand the adjoining parkland.

All the sale options would be restricted to the mansion and some portion of the grounds around it — the committee has stressed that under any of the scenarios considered public ownership of the beach, and public access to it, would be maintained.

A review of nearly 500 comments submitted to the committee along with the survey indicates sharp divisions among residents about the best alternative.

The committee's meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Room 2404 at the Civic Center.

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