May 17, 2021

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Evanston Dimensions | Ask the Historians

7 min read

After our last column, a RoundTable reader submitted the following question for historians at the Evanston History Center:

We moved to Evanston in 1970. There was a hotel/rooming house on the south side of Main Street, on the southwest corner of Forest, across from Lincoln School. It had a front porch and a beauty salon and a restaurant and reception desk in the lobby. And I recall an old creaky elevator. We stayed there for several weeks in 1972 between apartments. Mostly older people lived there. When was it built and I do not recall when it was torn down? I think it was called Evanston Inn.

Answer: The Evanston Inn, previously known as The Evanston Hotel (1915 – c. 1976)

The hotel you stayed at in 1972 had a long and storied history, and at the time you stayed there, it was more than half a century old. During your stay, the hotel was called the Evanston Inn. But at the time that name had only been in use for several years. Since the hotel first opened its doors in 1915 and well into the 1960s, it was called the Evanston Hotel. It stood on the lot on the south side of Main Street and Forest Avenue, just as you describe.  

To track down the history of the hotel, we consulted our archives, Evanston directories, newspapers, and biographical data on As we did, the larger story of Evanston’s hotel history started to emerge – an interesting story we hope to tell in further detail at some point. The Evanston Hotel played a prominent role in that history and marked the ushering in of a new modern age of hotels and hotel living in the city. © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.