'No students, please' neighbors tell NU

Roycemore School

As Northwestern University tries to decide what to do with the century-old Roycemore School campus, some campus neighbors have definite ideas about what they don't want.

A handful of neighbors, speaking at a sparsely attended 1st Ward meeting Tuesday night, said they'd prefer that the university turn the classroom buildings on the site at 640 Lincoln St. into offices for administrators.

And, although zoning for the property permits use of the site as dorms, speakers at the meeting said they definitely don't want that.

While the buildings have been used as classrooms for elementary and high school students for generations, most speakers weren't keen on the idea of having the building used for college classes.

The neighbors, mostly long-time activists who frequently urge that student housing only be permitted east of Sheridan Road, complained that noise of students' late-night partying -- or their travelling back and forth from classess -- would disrupt the tranquility of their single-family homes in the blocks just west of Sheridan.

The city has somewhat hamstrung potential redevelopment of the site by declaring most of the buildings on it local landmarks, and Ron Nayler, the university's associate vice president of facilities management, told the group, meeting at the library downtown, that the university only plans to restore the landmarked buildings.

But he said the school has not determined a use for the property, once Roycemore moves to its new location at 1200 Davis St., a move that could come as early as the end of this year.

And he added that the school might ultimately replace a home on the site that does not have landmark status.

Location

640 Lincoln St.
60201 Evanston , IL

Topic: 

Comments

Disruptive students

While the buildings have been used as classrooms for elementary and high school students for generations, most speakers weren't keen on the idea of having the building used for college classes.

[...] their travelling back and forth from classess -- would disrupt the tranquility of their single-family homes in the blocks just west of Sheridan.

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Damn kids and their walking! Clearly, handfuls of college students complaining about homework and exams on Orrington Ave in the middle of the day will lead to gang violence and vandalism.

Was it tranquil when

the street was lined with cars (some double-parked) dropping off and picking up kids at Roycemore?  As a classroom this would attract walkers and maybe some bikes, substantially less intrusive than the former users of the building.

The tranquil good old days

"the street was lined with cars (some double-parked) dropping off and picking up kids at Roycemore? As a classroom this would attract walkers and maybe some bikes, substantially less intrusive than the former users of the building" Logic never works with NIMBYs. Kind of like the Central Street NIMBYs , who bought houses near a theater, hospital, football field, and basketball arena.....and then after the theaters were knocked down, demand that the replacement buildings not create any 'traffic'.

How They Can Properly Build On The Site

My biggest concern is the home that they said they may replace. That, I beleive, is referring to the former Headmasters Home, which in the school's more modern history had served as the home of the art classrooms and administrative offices of the school. It is not detatched from the building itself, but is rather connected via an enclosed breezeway to the middle school wing of the building. It is a beautiful looking portion of the structure that I would personally hate to see be replaced. I'd much rather see the gymnasium (which is cramped and non-regulation-sized) be replaced. The corridor adjacent to the gym on the North side should be preserved though, as it faces Lincoln Avenue on the center face of the buildings courtyard. The gym itself can be demolished. It'd actually make a lot of sense, as the gym cannot be seen from the street, the only exposed exterior face that the gym has is small elevation rising behind the one-floor corridor I earlier mentioned (that side probably should be preserved in appearance to a fair extent) and another face only visable from the former faculity parking lot (that face would not be neccessary to preserve in appearance). The gym is located right off of the courtyard entrance on Lincoln Avenue, and off of the main entrance on Orrington. The gym is centrally located within the building, so it would be the ideal site for a new structure built within the existing buildings. From the street, Roycemore's appearance (minus touch-ups on its facade to help restore the building) would be unaltered if they did this. If they also wanted to, they could built uninterupted on the site of the gym, the site of the former parking lot, and the site of the blacktop and playground. The parking lot borders the back of the gym, and the playground and blacktop are located south of the parking lot. Both are located behind the middle school wing. For those that don't know the building well, the middle school wing is along Orrington Avenue, and is the section of the building located south of the Orrington entrance. The small building that adjuncts from this (the farthest south portion of the complex) is the former Headmasters House I mentioned at the beginning of my comment. If they built the new building behind this existing expanse, the only street the new structure would be visable to would be Colfax Avenue, therefore completely preserving the most important expanses of the buildings exterior (those along Orrington and Lincoln), as well as destroying none of the building (aside from the gymnasium). If they did this, it'd be great. It's the greatest way they possibly can preserve the building while constructing a new and modern structure within the exisiting complex, preserving the site's historical intergrity to the furthest extent possible. Also, one clear neccesity would be underground parking within this new structure. The underground parking could be built to be accessed either off of Colfax Avenue, or (since that may draw complaints from neighbors due to the traffic of cars going in-and-out of the garage) accessed from the alley behind.