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Environmental Group to Share Proposal For Harley Clarke Mansion

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has expressed interest in a long-term lease on the historic property at 2603 Sheridan Rd.

City officials and representatives of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host a community meeting next week to discuss the IDNR's interest in the city-owned Harley Clarke Mansion, 2603 Sheridan Rd.

After Evanston aldermen rejected a bid from Col. Jennifer Pritzker to purchase the mansion and turn it into a hotel, the historic property's future was up in the air. City officials said the mansion needed extensive and costly repairs, while representatives of its longtime tenant, the Evanston Art Center, said they hope to stay in the building

Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff will present information about the agency's operations, provide more details on their proposed use of the mansion and answer questions at the meeting next Wednesday, Jan. 15, according to a press release from the city.

The IDNR first expressed interest in a long-term lease of the building this October, according to a press release from the city. The statewide environmental agency would use the mansion to house its Coastal Management Program, among other IDNR programs, the release said. 

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the Parasol Room of the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave. 
Jordan S. Zoot January 09, 2014 at 06:02 PM
State government buildings have a general prohibition...however there is absolutely NOTHING in the concealed carry class that would be disallowed as indicated other than the range qualificaiton portion of the class there are no firearms involved. Further, hopefully as has happened in other states once the law is on the books eventually restrictions on locations are removed, and as such it is quite likely that while jails, courthouses, etc will remain restricted eventually the restriction on state government buildings will get lifted. There has always been a ban on Federal buildings and it has never been a problem. You might also want to remember that back in the day the Fullerton Gun Club actually had a shooting range on the Lake Michigan Beach at Diversey so there are always possibilities. Further, IDNR actually HAS CONSTRUCTED AND OWNS a number of public shooting ranges in other parts of Illinois so be careful what you wish for....while I doubt that it would happen stranger things have happened. Finally, the courts have ruled that Chicago is not legally able to prevent the construction of shooting ranges or retail firearm dealers within the City which means that the same rules are going to apply to Evanston. There are other uses which would also be interesting, such as the Illinois Dept. of Mental Health using space in the building to have an outpatient treatment facility for registered sex offenders....I bet Karen would like that much better than having anything to do with nasty hunters.
Mary January 09, 2014 at 08:26 PM
Jordan said: "There are other uses which would also be interesting, such as the Illinois Dept. of Mental Health using space in the building to have an outpatient treatment facility for registered sex offenders....I bet Karen would like that much better than having anything to do with nasty hunters.' I don't think the majority of Evanstonians would like either. As Karen said, it's on a park and family beach and whatever use it's put to should retain the family character of the place.
IllinoisLibertarian January 15, 2014 at 11:30 PM
Jordan- the thought of hunting and firearms goes way over most people's heads in this town. Many are ignorant and don't understand the hobbies, collecting, defensive and sporting uses of firearms. It's like trying to make people in rural North Carolina understand that gay marriage should be allowed. Mary- I like the lakefront ecology idea.
jim January 19, 2014 at 10:21 PM
Boutique Hotel with restaurants and shops would bring in lots of families. Create some good paying jobs
Frank Leeza February 05, 2014 at 03:03 PM
I thought the boutique hotel was a good idea too. They would've made the mansion beautiful and fixed up the park. I bet it would've become a destination and people would enjoy it. Oh well.

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