The Evanston IL Harley Clarke Mansion is a controversial subject these days. The property is in Evanston on Sheridan Road in North East Evanston. It was the home of the Evanston Art Center, but they moved to a new home at 1717 Central.
Presently the property needs major repair. The City of Evanston and the residents are discussing what to do with this property. The Evanstonian has written about the residence in the past.
Since it is in the local news, we thought we would revisit the situation. First if the reader is new to this subject here is a little history. It is a beautiful but troubled property since the day it was built in 1927.
Harley Clarke had it constructed as his home but lost it to foreclosure in the late 1940s. He was an electric company owner who got hit by the 1929 depression. The home became the national headquarters for the Sigma Chi fraternity in 1950.
Evanston acquired the home which startles Light House Beach, a public facility where you find many people nearly every day of the week. It is beautiful.
The mansion was leased to the Evanston Art Center for $1 per year. They held classes there for many years. During all that time very, little upkeep was given to the property and the house needs about 2 to 3 million dollars in renovations just to keep is safe to use.
The Evanston IL Harley Clarke Mansion
Presently it is vacant and there has been much talk of what to do with it. The latest talk is to tear it down. For a more complete history of what has happened in the past, read the Round Table article entitled An Unfinished History of Evanston’s Harley Clarke Mansion.
The latest talk of tearing down the mansion and creating open land is an interesting idea. I saw a rendering and it got people thinking and talking. Evanston faces a dilemma.