Let's transform Harley Clarke into Evanston's
community lakehouse.

Coach house café

The what.

Evanston Community Lakehouse & Gardens (ECLG) will repurpose the Harley Clarke estate and Jens Jensen gardens into Evanston's community lakehouse.

Imagine a Café, cultural celebrations, a meeting place, lectures, a lake view patio, seasonal events, music, books & clubs, a place to connect and celebrate community through educational and recreational programming. Imagine a world-class setting for inspiring gatherings to enjoy Evanston at the lake. Envision yourself and your family here, enjoying one of more than 50 program ideas proposed from our 2019 community surveys. That's what.


Basement Circle Rendering.jpg

The why.

The Harley Clarke house and surrounding Jens Jensen gardens are the keystone of the lakefront complex, which includes Noah’s Playground for Everyone, Lighthouse Beach, and the Grosse Point Lighthouse. Evanston is a lakefront town, with an extraordinary public, lakefront mansion that is eagerly waiting to be used by our community. In restoring and repurposing this local landmark, Evanston has an opportunity to embrace one of the crown jewels of public lakefront property. Harley Clarke is your only public, city-owned building on the lake. That's why.


The how.

Through a long-term lease with the City of Evanston, ECLG will repurpose Harley Clarke into a community-use space to benefit the residents of Evanston. Following models that have proven successful in the Chicagoland area and across the country, we will be financially self-sustaining through a combination of program fees, rentals, grants, and fundraising. 

We have recently developed the ECLG 2020 “Vision Pamphlet” created for serious donors who understand this unique opportunity to create equitable, community space. We detail a financial plan and long-term use agenda that can bring-to-life the Harley Clarke Estate that Evanston families have known and loved for decades. Donors may contact: Board President, Emily Guthrie at (847) 867-4826 for more information on the Vision Pamphlet. That’s How.