Lighthouse Park District Director Donald Terras says he was sitting in his office during the windstorm that swept through Evanston Halloween afternoon when a tree limb came crashing through the ceiling.

A giant, and as it turned out, thoroughly rotted silver maple tree broke off in the wind, fell against the main roof of the lighthouse keeper’s house at 2601 Sheridan Road and then came to rest on top of the one-story addition where his office is located.

Terras says the tree poked several holes in the roof, ripped some of the trim off the eaves and left the roof of the addition with a bow to it that he believes indicates more substantial hidden damage to the rafters underneath.

What’s left of the tree that fell over.

He says a City of Evanston crew under the direction of Forestry Chief Paul D’Agostino responded quickly and got the tree limbs off the roof, but he expects it may be another week or more before the extent of the damage is fully assessed.

It was just last year that the park district completed a major restoration project on the lighthouse and the adjacent buildings — including replacing the roof.

In one respect, Terras says, the damage came at what may have been a timely moment. The park district is planning to send out its annual fundraising campaign mailing next week.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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