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Panel votes to landmark church

Is City Council agrees, the decision would block redevelopment of the northwest Evanston site for a preschool.

The Second Church of Christ, Scientist ant 2715 Hurd. (Google Maps)

Evanston’s Preservation Commission voted unanimously this week to recommend landmark status for the Second Church of Christ, Scientist at 2715 Hurd Ave., across from Willard School in northwest Evanston.

If the City Council accepts the commission’s recommendation it would block plans to demolish the church building and replace it with a preschool.

The petition to landmark the church was submitted by Andrew Nebel, who lives across the street from the church at 2659 Hurd.

The petition says the 1946 building was designed by the architectural firm of Perkins, Wheeler, and Will, and apparently by one of the firm’s principals, Larry Perkins, who was an Evanston resident.

The church has tried for some time to sell the building. A sale to the Salvation Army that would have generally maintained the building fell through in 2019 in the face of opposition from neighbors.

The proposal to demolish the building and replace it with a preschool also has been opposed by neighbors. It was recommended for approval by the city’s Design and Project Review Committee, but the Plan Commission voted 5-3 against it.

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