Make a Reservation for an Upcoming Event

Click on a program below to make a reservation:

Nathan Kipnis, “The Future Has Arrived!” Designing Evanston’s First Platinum LEED Home, Thursday, January 25, 2018, 7pm (reception starts at 6:30pm)

Janet C. Messmer, “Valedictory Address,” Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7pm (reception starts at 6:30pm)

Pamela Bannos, “Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife,” Thursday, March 15, 2018, 7pm (reception starts at 6:30pm)

Have a suggestion for an event topic or speaker? Please email Jenny Thompson:

Annual Holiday Open House
12th Annual Food Drive

Sunday, December 3, 2017, 1-4 p.m.
At the Evanston History Center in the Dawes House

Join us for an afternoon of holiday cheer at the Dawes House. Explore the majestic lakeside mansion decked out for the holidays, view EHC’s exhibits, and enjoy holiday treats, crafts for kids and live music in the Great Hall.

1:00-2:30 p.m.: Piano Music by Chris Mahieu
2:30-3:30 p.m.: Singing for everyone with Marian McNair

This event is free and open to everyone!

EHC also kicks off its 12th Annual Holiday Food Drive, in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository. All food collected will go directly to an Evanston food pantry to benefit area residents. Donations of nutritious, non-perishable food (no glass, please) will be accepted at the Dawes House, 225 Greenwood Street from Thursday, November 30 through Sunday, December 3 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. each day. Please consider donating to this important cause.

Closing December 2017!

“The Finishing Touch” Evanston Accessorized!

“The Finishing Touch: Evanston Accessorized!”
an exhibit of clothing accessories for men, women, and children, 1860-2000

On view May 1 – December 2017

Have you given much thought to what accessories you consider essential to your look today? What would you have chosen in 1960, 1900, 1860?

While many think of clothing in terms of garments to cover the body, accessories are a considerable part of our wardrobes and help to define the way we present ourselves to the world. On Monday, May 1, 2017, the Evanston History Center (EHC) will open a new exhibit featuring fashion accessories, some practical and others highly decorative and whimsical, and exploring their uses over time. The items are drawn from EHC’s extensive costume collection which is rich in accessories used by Evanstonians throughout the history of the city. The exhibit is curated by EHC’s costume curator, Janet C. Messmer.

The exhibit explores how accessory items have evolved through time, both in style and use. Some, considered essential in the past, have either changed their forms or fallen into disuse, while others which were unknown to our ancestors are considered vital today. Few women currently carry a vinaigrette filled with smelling salts in their purses (in case they feel faint) or wear a silver chatelaine with an ivory notepad and silver mechanical pencil suspended from it, but their ancestors in the late 19th century well might have. And most people would have difficulty explaining to their ancestors why they must wear a Fitbit today.

Walking sticks, parasols, fans, chatelaines, gloves, hats, shoes, stockings, spurs, riding crops, garters, jewelry, posy holders, shoe trees, cigarette holders, match boxes, and many other items from the mid-19th through the 20th century will be on display. Additionally, the exhibit explores where Evanstonians have acquired their accessories by looking into businesses which created or sold them.

The exhibit runs through December 2017.

Admission: $10. EHC Members Free.
Hours: Thursdays-Sundays, 1PM-4PM