As Evanston aldermen debate future uses for the city-owned Harley Clarke Mansion, it's unclear what will happen to the mansion's longtime tenant, the Evanston Art Center.
After submitting a request for proposals on the property last year, aldermen ultimately rejected a $1.2 million offer from Jennifer Pritzker in July. While the art center originally said it wanted to move to a larger space, remaining in the Harley Clarke Mansion now appears to be back on the drawing board.
The art center's board met Thursday night to discuss whether it should remain in the mansion, among other issues, but no final decisions were made, according to executive director Norah Diedrich.
"Additional discussions have to be had," she said. "It's not such an easy decision, obviously."
The art center leases the property from the city for the nominal rate of $1 per year, and contributes some money toward maintenance, according to city manager Wally Bobkiewicz. Founded in 1929, the art center has occupied the Harley Clarke Mansion since the 1960s.
If the art center is going to continue to operate in the Harley Clarke Mansion, the 86-year-old property needs at least $170,000 in basic safety repairs, according to Bobkiewicz. That money must be approved by the city council, however, and some aldermen are wary of spending funds on a property that might soon be sold or turned into something else.