On Monday night, the Evanston’s City Council voted to decline an offer to sell the property around Lighthosue Beach, including the Harley Clarke Mansion.
This plan came Tawani Enterprises, owned by the powerful Pritzker family.
The City of Evanston has owned the lakefront land and mansion since the 1960 and has used it for the arts center, beach and city park.
The house has fallen into disrepair and needs a lot of restoration.
The Pritzker-owned company offered to by the house and 2 1/2 acres for 1.2 million dollar and turn the mansion into a 57-room boutique hotel and underground parking garage for 200 cars.
Selling the public parkland to a private business is what drew the ire of thousands in Evanston, who didn’t want to see this happen.
Apparently, the mayor and most aldermen took notice of the public outcry and voted to decline this development offer.
But the question remains: what to do with this site? Though the council agreed it shouldn’t be sold to a private business, they agreed the city cannot afford to do the renovations to the mansion.
That question on the future will be left for a different time.