Evanston’s Preservation Commission has a packed agenda tonight, with a scheduled advisory review of the proposed 19-story office tower at 601 Davis St. and consideration of proposed changes to a half-dozen private homes.

The Davis Street project goes before the commission because it includes plans to preserve the landmarked University Building on the northwest corner of Davis and Chicago Avenue while constructing the tower just to the west on what’s now a vacant lot and the Chase Bank drive-thru.

The University Building at 601 Davis St. in a 2018 photo from Google Maps.

The office towe plans still have a long way to go through the city’s planned development review process, including a hearing before the Plan Commission and ultimately a vote by the City Council.

Homeowners, or their contractors or architects, will be seeking the commission’s approval tonight for plans at:

  • 1330 Lake St. to replace the recently removed stucco exterior finish on a home with no-knot cedar siding matching what was originally on the house when it was built in 1889.
  • 834 Madison St. to repair existing stucco finishes and replace a number of windows.
  • 2727 Lincoln St. to build one and two story additions at the rear of the home.
  • 1224 Oak Ave. to build an attached garage and rooftop screened porch and open deck and make other changes.
  • 835 Michigan Ave. to replace windows.
  • 2404 Ridge Ave. to get the commission’s advisory review of plans for a two-lot subdivision.

The commission is also scheduled to get a staff report on a request from Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, to revive a plan from 1995 that then 5th Ward Alderman Joe Kent advanced to create a “Cultural Preservation District” that would acknowledge African-American heritage in Evanston.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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