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PRESS RELEASE: Harley Clarke Proposal Serves the Evanston Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Nancy Sreenan Phone: 847-502-0852 Email:

Harley Clarke Proposal Serves the Evanston Community Harley Clarke Proposal Serves the Evanston Community Grassroots community organization developed thorough and sustainable plan

Evanston IL (March 5, 2020) – The Evanston Community Lakehouse and Gardens organization (ECLG) submitted a detailed 70+ page response on Friday, February 28th to the City of Evanston’s Request for Proposal No. 19-29 for the Lease of the Harley Clarke mansion, Coach House and gardens. It is now posted on both the City of Evanston’s website and ECLG’s.

ECLG is dedicated to creating a public home on the lake. Our community-driven plan will bring the residents of Evanston together with events and programming generated by community input. At three community meetings that we sponsored in the spring of 2019, more than 300 residents made it clear that they value the building and want access and activities for all Evanston residents. ECLG has worked with members and leaders of the African American and Latinx communities to formulate a plan that will be responsive to the needs of our minorities and our communities of color. ECLG pledges to make this house on the lake our Community Lakehouse.

The ECLG proposal includes:

• A sustainable business plan that provides the necessary income to pay staff and operating expenses, as well as to generate funds for building maintenance reserves.

• A 5-phase renovation plan complete with detailed architectural drawings that addresses key structural, life-safety, and accessibility requirements and opens up the first floor to events. Subsequent phases complete the necessary build-out to allow full use of the remaining floors of the building and the adjacent coach house and greenhouse.

• The fundamental assumption is that no city resources will be required. A professional fundraising consultant has surveyed Evanston donors and found ample interest in funding the program in the ECLG proposal.

• A letter of support from the Evanston/North Shore branch of the NAACP reads in part, “we are supportive of this African American initiative and its considerable implications for the Black community.”

The ECLG board and active community members look forward to presenting the proposal to the Evanston City Council and by extension the residents of Evanston so that a consensus can be reached as to the future of this unique opportunity. ECLG is a 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to creating a vibrant and sustainable community house on the lake that will help to merge the Lighthouse campus, access to the beach and dunes, and the Jens Jensen gardens.


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