Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, asked by readers to find a suburban transit oriented development project he likes, settled on one here in Evanston.

After he bashed the look of a TOD development in Wilmette last week, Kamin says readers asked him whether there are any good ones.

And, Kamin responded — after dinging a project in LaGrange — with fairly high praise for The Main, at 847 Chicago Ave. in Evanston.

Although Kamin says Evanstn residents “have made a blood sport of attacking high-rise plans they deem out of character,” he likes the “saw-toothed wall of glass” at The Main, its setback from Main Street and “handsome brickwork that pays homage to the craft and texture of the building’s older neighbors.”

Find more of what Kamin has to say here.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. How wonderful that the
    How wonderful that the aldermen voted for yet another TOD in south Evanston, the Albion. To share such wonderful progress, the next one should be built on the corner of Green Bay and Central.

    1. Yup
      Yes, they should do so. A good portion of these theoretical residents at such a development could then walk to the Metra station across the street to commute to jobs downtown, or elsewhere on the UP-North rail corridor. They could also walk to local shops and generate local sales taxes, including a grocery store two blocks north.

      Or, you know, we can just build more 5,000 square foot houses with aluminum siding and giant foyers on curvy subdivision streets off Route 47 with walking access to nothing and call it a day.

      Your choice.

  2. Looks good, but wish the owners would shovel the walks
    & put out de-icing pellets after a snowfall. This fancy building should have enough $ to be a good neighbor for those of us who use the sidewalks in the winter. Not having a tennant in every storefront doesn’t release the building from this responsibility.

    1. The Main

      Thank you for your comments.  We are working with our snow removal contractor to improve service for our neighbors as well as our residents. If you have any additional thoughts, please feel free to reach me directly at 847-450-0115. 

      1. The Main
        Snow was terrible on The Main’s sidewalks thus winter. Why would one need to call them to clean the sidewalks? Hire a good service and manage the building responsibly. That would be your job.

        By the way, the Chicago Ave. Sidewalk is extremely narrow if you have a cart, wheelchair or cane. It is barely wise enough for one person in each direction. Snow, your ridiculous concierge stand, or any other impediment makes it impossible. Aside from getting multiple variances from the city, why was The Main allowed to create such an unfriendly pedestrian situation???

  3. Beautiful building.
    So nice to see this building called out for the quality development it is by someone who really knows what they are talking about.

    Several anti development people called this building a tragedy, empty with no demand for the units, not respecting the neighborhood, an eyesore that doesn’t fit the character of Evanston, an example of why a moratorium should be placed on future development, blah blah blah.

    Even more pertinent was Kamin essentially making the case that shorter buildings don’t necessarily mean quality or human scale or anything else. Just like in Wilmette, Evanston’s anti development people have repeatedly demanded shorter projects, forcing buildings to be more squat, changing the financials in such a way that lower quality finishes get used.

    Anti development people have been the direct, main cause of several buildings in Evanston being compromised with less attractive results then the original proposal, something the whole community has to live with for decades. But hey, it’s a whole two – three stories shorter.

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