At the request of Evanston city staff the Preservation Commission Wednesday night delayed a vote on a request by Northwestern University to resubdivide its main campus property along Sheridan Road.

The request for delay came after Bonnie Williams, president of Landmarks Illinois, sent the city a letter Monday, suggesting a different approach that might make historic sections of the campus “a special district of some type” much like what Chicago is currently considering for its Fulton-Randolph Market District.

Williams said that district would create “different review zones and specifies where administrative review and historic building permit review is more appropriate.”

She added, “Unique preservation review and process alternatives have been structured in other communities with prestige universities” and said “something can be done to make the process more predictable” for both the university and the preservation commission.

Only a handful of spectators turned out for the special Preservation Commission meeting called to discuss the university’s proposal and three residents spoke in opposition to it.

The university’s proposal would divide what are now two massive lots east of Sheridan Road into six lots — one large one without any landmarked buildings — and five smaller ones that would contain all of the dozen landmarked buildings on the campus.

During Wednesdays meeting several members of the commission suggested expanding the boundaries of some of the lots with landmarked buildings or extending commission oversight of all construction farther into the campus from its Sheridan Road that the 200 feet proposed as part of a revised proposal from the university.

No date was set for a followup meeting.

Related stories

Activists: NU wants to ‘gerrymander’ campus (3/2/15)

NU seeks to free much of campus from ‘historical’ review (2/8/15)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Hooray for Bonnie McDonald

    Hooray for Bonnie McDonald.  Do you suppose city staff can hear her?

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