Foster School landmarking plan advances

Robin Rue Simmons.

The former Foster School building in Evanston is just one vote away from receiving local landmark status after City Council action Monday night to introduce the landmark ordinance.

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, whose 5th Ward includes the property at 2010 Dewey Ave., sought to finish the process Monday by suspending the Council's rules to take final action on the proposal.

But that motion was defeated after an attorney for the non-profit Family Focus organization, which owns the building, said the group's executive director was sick and couldn't be present for the meeting.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, noted that the Council's agenda had not indicated that a vote on final approval would be considered at Monday's meeting and suggested following the normal practice of postponing final action until the Council's next meeting on Oct. 22.

Family Focus officials had previously objected to the landmarking measure, saying it destroyed the group's ability to find a buyer for the property it can no longer afford to maintain.

2010 Dewey Ave.

But they were pleased that the Preservation Commission agreed to several modifications to the landmark proposal that would give a buyer of the property somewhat more flexibility in possible future expansion of the building.

There was no indication Monday of whether a viable potential buyer for the property has emerged or what would be the building's fate if a new buyer can't be found.