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  1. Thank you for your wonderful reflective musing by ‘John Evans’ on his 19th Century contemporary Harley Lyman Clarke and “that house.” It was written with insight and humor, which will benefit the Evanston community as this discussion continues to unfold.

  2. Thank you for this article. I’d like to add that the mansion did not just “land” in the city’s coffers. One very talented sculptress, named Katy O’Neil worked very hard to wrest the beautiful building away from the national chapter of Sigma Chi and to make it an art center for the city. As an artist myself who learned photography there and computer animation, I know that when one gives away or sells something of great value for a small amount, it is often not valued as it should be. The city leased the house to the Evanston Art Center for a rent of one dollar a year. The Art Center proceeded to spend no money on its upkeep, aside from grass cutting and despite claiming to have a yearly income of $1 million. Then, when the building fell into disrepair, in a very divided vote by board members, the Art Center decided to build a brand new building and abandon Harley Clarke. The Evanston Lakehouse Group has been working on their nonprofit proposal for over 3 years. It has the support of a majority of the Evanstonians who want to save the landmark. The Dunes restoration people want to pay to destroy it because they are wealthy NIMBYs worried about the possible noise and traffic to the now-shuttered mansion. The opportunity to have a beautiful “people’s mansion” on the lake, indeed the only public structure along Chicago’s lakeshore that can provide shelter, architectural awesomeness with integrated gardens, a gorgeous venue for a wedding, and possibilities for lake-related education at no expense to the city should not be undermined.
    Tell your aldermen to give the Lakehouse Group a chance.

  3. My dear mother in law, Becky, sat at the front desk of “ that building” for many years. She saw the students and teachers come and go and always felt the community breathed life into the old building. In return, the building provided a place for the community to rest, reflect and to grow closer. There aren’t enough places like that anymore!

  4. “Jensen…publicly said that working on the Clarke place with Powers was one of his ‘fondest memories’.”

    This does make me wonder what the sense is of tearing down the house but restoring the garden, if the garden was designed with the house in mind.

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