Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens Taps Local Experts

EVANSTON, IL – Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens (ELHG), has selected architectural and fundraising professionals to help the not-for-profit to implement the next phases of fund development, restoration, planning, and design, provided a lease agreement is approved at the next City Council meeting April 9th.

Architect Anne McGuire of McGuire Igleski & Associates, Inc., specialists in architecture, preservation and planning, and fundraising expert Sara Schastok have been chosen to help ELHG move forward in preserving and supporting this community asset. Both principals answered ELHG's Request for Proposals for fundraising and architectural design services.

The Evanston-based not-for-profit hopes to have its lease of the Harley Clarke House approved at the April 9th City Council meeting. Once approved, ELHG can begin work on their visionary plan to restore the historic building and Jens Jensen gardens -- creating an inspiring space for environmental education and cultural programming that will serve as a gateway to the Great Lakes for generations to come.

ELHG, a grassroots, citizen-driven project, has been four years in planning and has sustained broad community support from every ward in the City, but in order to ensure the best possible chance for success, they will engage local experts with a proven track record in this arena.

"Until now, The Lakehouse has been a lot of planning and working with the City and our partners to lay the groundwork for next steps, but once we have a signed lease we can begin our work in earnest," said ELHG Board President, Tom Hodgman. "We feel especially energized to have enlisted some of Evanston's best and brightest to help in that endeavor." Hodgman is no stranger to environmental fundraising. When not volunteering with ELHG, he works for The Nature Conservancy - the largest global environmental nonprofit - in their impact investing unit NatureVest, and has helped to raise over $150 million for conservation projects since 2011.

Setting their sights on an ambitious fundraising campaign, ELHG is confident in their selection of Sara Schastok, former CEO of Evanston Community Foundation, as principal resource development consultant, who will partner with Kendal Gladish for the project. Gladish is a seasoned development officer, writer and editor, and award-winning board chair and volunteer leader in the Evanston, IL and Austin, TX communities where she divides her time. Both women have vast experience in relationship-based fundraising and development communications as well as in forming collaborations similar to the efforts that ELHG envisions.

"Evanston gives generously when a vision and mission map well to our core values," said Schastok. "Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens presents a unique opportunity to foster hands-on science that knits together resources at Northwestern, both school districts, and the offerings of other nonprofit organizations in a unique way. Evanston is a lakefront community and the ELHG project will help expand our awareness of Great Lakes waters and their role in our region."

"McGuire Igleski & Associates (MIA) is familiar with the property having completed a previous study on behalf of the City. We are very excited to be involved with the restoration and rehabilitation of the Harley Clarke House on behalf of ELHG," said principal, Anne McGuire, who, in addition to being a past member of the Evanston Preservation Commission, has also worked on several projects for the City. The building is a grand domestic architectural icon of Evanston, and with MIA's architectural and engineering team supporting the effort, it will get a new life and purpose serving the Evanston Community for decades to come.

Schastok added, "Yes, it is a big and complex project but think what this resource will add to Evanston! We can only accomplish what we first imagine—and Evanston was home to Daniel Burnham, he of 'make no small plans' fame."