Historic downtown highlights the Oakton district on this year’s walk, which isn’t just for Mother’s Day

Architect Charles H. Markel designed the house at 305 Barton Ave., which is classified as an Italian Renaissance project. Credit: Adina Keeling

The Oakton Historic District sits within a grid of busy streets, which draw the traffic – and attention – of the cozy South Evanston neighborhood.

Bounded by Oakton Street, Howard Street, Asbury Avenue and Ridge Avenue, the historic district is a “hidden gem” and remains unexplored by many members of the community, said Eden Juron Pearlmann, Executive Director of the Evanston History Center.

That’s why the historic center selected the neighborhood for the 2022 edition of the annual Mother’s Day walk, a 47-year popular tradition and the organization’s biggest fundraiser.

“The idea was to do something totally different and we were never there,” Pearlmann said.

The walk began on Mother’s Day weekend, but community members are invited to tour the area in their own time and purchase an informational brochure from the historic downtown website to learn more about the historic district.

In the past, the annual walk involved a tour of the interior of several private homes. This was a great opportunity to learn about the architecture, history, furniture and decor of other people’s homes, Pearlmann said.

However, the pandemic has forced the history center to rotate, and for the past two years, organizers have held a House Walk.-inin which community members examine the exterior of homes with a specific theme or located in a specific area.

The last couple of the Pandemic House Walk-in‘s already frequently visited downtown, and this year, organizers really wanted to highlight an area that hasn’t received the same attention, Pearlmann said.

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