Where We’re At Now
Evanston History Center is approaching Phase III of a multi-faceted restoration project of the Dawes House. The project is the result of an extensive assessment of the historic property started in 2009, when EHC became proud owners of the house, coach house and grounds, after leasing the facility from Northwestern University for over 50 years.
What We’ve Accomplished
Phases I and II have been completed. Phase I included rebuilding the conservatory foundation and floor, major restoration of masonry on the east side of the house, and structural work on the coach house. Phase II included work on the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. A new geothermal system and an updated boiler have been installed – a cutting edge sustainable energy system creating a stabilized interior environment. The entire electrical system has also been updated. Phase III will focus on completion of masonry work and sandstone repair on the exterior of the house and the terrace.
Capital Campaign Financials
- Campaign goal $4 million ($3.2 million in capital and $800,000 in endowment)
- $2.4 million raised in cash and pledges as of August 2015
- Lead gift of $750,000 from Frank B. Foster Charitable Trust
Looking Back At Our Progress
June – August 2010
- A comprehensive assessment of the Dawes House and Dawes Coach House structure and infrastructure was completed. $4,098,332 worth of work was identified and prioritized.
- The EHC Board of Trustees approved initiation of a Capital Campaign to raise $4 million. The Campaign was charged with raising $3.2 million for highest priority work and $800,000 to add to the History Center’s endowment of $2.2 million. Endowment income will be used to support the EHC’s programming and increased operating maintenance budget. During the quiet phase of the campaign the structure for fundraising was established:
- Evanston Civic Leaders and influential community members were recruited to form a Capital Campaign Committee
- A list of “Naming Opportunities” was designed to help raise funds for the work. Trustees assumed responsibility for raising funds for naming rights and programs.
June 2011 – November 2012
- Phase I highest priority work Approximately $450,000 was spent on “sealing the envelope”. Work completed included:
- Replacing roof
- Repairing crumbling masonry to “shore up” the floor
- Rebuilding the foundation and floor of the conservatory.
- Replacing a lintel over the dining room to address structural deficiency and water penetration.
- Major restoration of masonry on east side of the Dawes House.
- Fabricating exterior doors to the conservatory area from the library.
- Phase II planning completed, which included creating architectural drawings and systems drawings for major Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems overhaul.
September 2013 – January 2014
- Phase II work completed included mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP Project):
- Drilling 16 wells 300 feet deep on the property for geothermal system
- Piping from wells connected to the Dawes House heat pump units
- Conducting asbestos abatement
- Installing new ductwork throughout the house
- Cutting holes in walls, floors, ceilings for new ducts and grills for geothermal system
- Repairing and painting plaster damage from electrical and HVAC systems installation
- Updating entire electrical system
- Installing original sink in kitchen of the house
- Re-landscaping east lawn
- Removing surface lighting and conduit on exterior of house
- Installing ground lighting
- Phase III plans started. Work to be considered includes:
- Completing exterior masonry work and repairing sandstone of house and terrace
- Restoring exterior front stairs and doors
- Removing delaminating 1960s parge coat on former interior conservatory wall
- Estimated cost $1.2 million
- Capital Campaign enters public phase