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120th Annual Meeting

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
225 Greenwood Street, Evanston, IL
Reception: 6:30 pm
EHC Annual Meeting: 7:00 pm

Click here to view the new board member bios
Click here to view last year’s Annual Meeting Minutes
Click here to view the EHC’s Strategic Vision

New Exhibit Open!

“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



2017 Walking Tours

The Evanston History Center offers lively docent-led walking tours of Evanston neighborhoods, downtown, and the lakefront. The tours provide fun and fascinating insights into the history of Evanston, its architecture, and the cultural landscape.


All tours, unless otherwise stated, meet at the Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood Street, Evanston.


Tours vary but are occasionally repeated, and are generally offered on the first and third Saturday of the month.

Tours begin at 11:00 AM and last for 90 minutes.


The cost is $20 per person/$15 for members unless otherwise stated. Admission is payable at the door.

Reservations are strongly recommended. RSVP to Kris Hartzell, or 847-475-3410.


Free street parking is available on Greenwood Street.

Types of Tours

NEW THIS YEAR: Prairie School Camelot Bus Tour
1:00 pm on September 16, 2017
Admission: $25/person/$20 members. Reservations Required.

Did you know that Evanston is a treasure trove of Prairie School architecture? Some of the most notable examples are in Evanston, along with some of the best-kept secrets. Come along with us and discover Evanston’s Prairie gems. The bus will leave at 1:00 pm from the Evanston History Center.

NEW THIS YEAR: Forest Foray
June 3 & August 19, 2017

Stroll down the avenue that Daniel Burnham called “the choicest street” in Evanston. From Greenwood to Lee Street we will pass remarkable houses designed by notable architects for such prominent clients as Charles Ringling and Oscar Mayer.

Architectural Evanston
August 5, 2017

A walk through the original town of Evanston, with a view to the architectural styles of different eras and how they reflect the growth and change of the city.

Burnham in Evanston
June 17 & October 21, 2017

Explore the neighborhood where architect Daniel Burnham chose to live, work, and build. We will see his property, houses, and schools he designed, and hear about the man and his love of “bucolic Evanston.”

Evanston’s Lakefront
July 1 & September 2, 2017

Take in the rich, varied history of Evanston’s lakefront. From lifesaving stations to shipwrecks, from boathouses to warehouses, from parks and private residences to piers, beaches, and landscaping:  the stories are as varied as the lakefront itself.

Evanston Women’s History
July 15 & October 7, 2017

Discover the revolutionary history of Evanston’s women by viewing the houses and buildings where they worked to transform our cultural landscape. This tour meets at WILLARD HOUSE, 1740 CHICAGO AVENUE.

Group walking tours can be scheduled by appointment. To get more information on group walking tour options, please contact us at (847) 475-3410 or e-mail Kris Hartzell.