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Synagogue redesign gets thumbs down again

2014-orrington-chabad-house-as-is-2017

Plans to modify and expand the Tannenbaum Chabad House at 2014 Orrington Ave. were rejected by Evanston’s Preservation Commission for the third time Tuesday night. 

Many commissioners said they didn’t think the latest design resolved the concerns they have had since the beginning.

A previous design rejected by the commission in August.

Commission member Elliot Dudnik said the windows on the second floor look like a big piece of sheet metal. He also was not enamored with the use of stucco around the windows. 

The design rejected Tuesday night

Commissioner Vice Chair, Ken Itle called the design jarring.

“What’s happening on the second floor is institutional but it is floating on top of a residential lower part. It’s not that the design on second floor doesn’t fit with the neighborhood, it doesn’t fit with what’s going on below”.

Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein speaking to the Preservation Commission Tuesday night.

Despite the setback Chabad Executive Director Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein said he’s not discouraged.

“I’m happy because we had a lot of dialogue and we are closer to the finish line, by next month we can fine tune it even more”.

Rabbi Klein has been asked to come back with yet another design on Nov. 14.  This time however, he will have some help.  In an unusual move Preservation Commission Chair Diane Williams instructed two commissioners to consult with Klein and provide some guidance and advice prior to the next meeting to ensure it goes well.

Williams acknowledged Klein has done everything the Commission has asked without complaint and yet still has not been able to give them a design they can accept. She says it is incumbent upon the Commission to do more to ensure this application is not delayed any longer.

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