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Historic Preservation Projects Recognized

City of Evanston honors Northwestern for five projects enhancing historic properties

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July 26, 2012 | by Matt Paolelli
Northwestern received recognition for historic preservation projects including construction and landscaping on the University President’s house at 2601 Orrington Ave. Photo by Ray Whitehouse

The City of Evanston recognized Northwestern University’s commitment to preserving and enhancing its historic properties by awarding three University construction projects with Evanston Preservation and Design Awards and citing two other projects for honorable mention at the July 23 City Council meeting.

Award-winning projects included construction and landscaping work on the University President’s house at 2601 Orrington Ave, the installation of a handicapped accessible ramp between two sororities at 625 and 637 University Place, and the reconfiguration of the parking lot near Garrett Evangelical Seminary.

The installation of accessibility ramps to Rogers House dormitory at 647 University Place and to a dormitory at 1856 Orrington Ave received honorable mention recognition.

The 2012 preservation and design awards were presented by the Evanston Historic Preservation Commission, which not only lauded the physical changes inherent in the construction projects, but also Facilities Management’s ability to tastefully blend the alterations with existing buildings and spaces through the use of landscaping and environmental considerations.

The renovation of the President’s house was awarded for significant changes made to the exterior of the property, including the addition of an accessibility ramp and landscaping enhancements. The most visible alteration is the change of the home’s entrance from a Central Street address to an Orrington Avenue address.

“The front entrance to the property now reflects its position in the environment and presents a more harmonious presence,” said Andrew McGonigle, Northwestern Facilities Management project manager. “You now arrive on a more dignified residential street rather than a main thoroughfare.”

Facilities Management worked closely with the City of Evanston to reconfigure the parking lot near Garrett, as the project will culminate in the implementation of a new traffic signal at the lot’s entrance. Fire lanes, driveways and sidewalks were restructured, and new lighting, security cameras, emergency phones and landscaping have been implemented. The traffic light is currently being installed, and the new junction on Sheridan Road is known as Northwestern Place.

Alpha Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta sororities joined forces to fund a shared accessibility ramp between their buildings, which were originally designed by James Gamble Rogers in the early 1920s. The accessibility route was created in an underused open space between the buildings and enhanced with new landscaping.

“Facilities management is very pleased to be able to work with various departments throughout the university in achieving these goals,” McGonigle said. “We continue to strive to be sensitive to our environment and constantly improve the quality of the campus.”

Northwestern appreciates the recognition of the University’s efforts in the maintenance of its buildings and infrastructure by the City of Evanston, he said. “It was a great pleasure to have the mayor present these awards to us.”