Optima Views

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1720 Maple Avenue, Evanston, IL

Optima Views

Optima Views
Building Information
Developer Optima
Architect Optima
Management Company The Building Group, Inc.
Number of Units 207
Number of Floors 28
Year Built 2003
Construction Method Concrete
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1720 Maple Avenue, Evanston, IL
Distance to Public Transit A few blocks
Region Chicago
Municipality Evanston
Zoning RP
Title of Land Condominium



University in Evanston

Optima Views is located on a site that used to be the Levy Senior Center. The center relocated in 2001 due to the Northwestern University / Evanston Research Park. The new facility had a great amount of support from the senior community and a 26,000 square foot structure was completed a year later.

Going further back into history, and looking at a broader scale, Optima Views is located on what used to be nothing but a swampy forest prior to the 1830s. The Potswatomi Indians had trails along the dryer ridges with semi-permanent settlements.

French explorers first discovered the land and named it "Grosse Pointe" after the fact that it is a point of land jutting into Lake Michigan. In the 1840s, the land was still unsettled, there were a few hotels and taverns along the ridge roads, but nothing more.

In 1851, a group of business leaders founded the Northwestern University and Garrett Biblical Institute on the lands. The chose the area on the bluffed and forested site along the lake. In 1854, the men submitted to the county judge their plans of a city to be named Evanston after one of their leaders.

Evanston was incorporated as a town in 1863 and became a city in 1869.

Today, Evanston is home to roughly 75,000 people. The median age of people living in the are is 34.4 and there is a small percentage of people over 65.

Point of interest in Evanston include the Evanston History Center, Fountain Square Tower, Frances Willard House, and Grosse Point Lighthouse. [1]


Rotary International Headquarters

Optima views is located in the Evanston municipality in Cook County, 12 miles north of Chicago. In the 20th century, the city was referred to as "The City of Churches."

The city is home to the Northwest University and a very successful school system. Residents in the area fall within either school district 62 or 202. Some of the schools that are part of these districts are the Dewey Elementary School, Chute Middle School, and Eths High School.

Rotary International has located its world headquartered in Evanston. There are more than 1.2 million members and over 33,000 clubs all over the world.

There are many arts and cultural displays including theaters, museums and community events. Some of them include Great Lakes Art Studio, Grosse Point Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and the Evanston Children's Theatre.

Within walking distance of the Optima Views is Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, That Little Mexican Cafe, B L Ingredients, Fountain Square, and Stainless Glass Wine Bar. Having these amenities so close by provide the convenience of completing daily errands without the use of a car. [2]


Exterior Photo of Optima Views

The Optima views has a very unique style given the neighborhood. Next to its tower is a low-rise that contains retail space on the bottom level.

The shape of the tower is composed of two rectangles, one being slightly larger than the other. The front wall is set back from the street at an angle which allows residents to have a view of Downtown Evanston and the Chicago skyline. The back wall has saw tooth angles allowing additional views in different directions. [3]

A distinguishing feature on the building is its yellow balconies. They contrast the light blue tinted windows making the building bright and cherry. The additional finishing material is simply concrete. Due to the window walls, it is only at the floor plates when the concrete is seen.

The street level has garden landscaping and features a large fountain that in indoor and outdoor, shared with the lobby area.

Layout and Features

The kitchens contain granite counter tops, large windows, tile flooring, wood cabinetry, chrome hardware and stainless steel appliances including an oven, stove, microwave and dishwasher. Some kitchens also have islands. There are also laundry facilities in some suites. [4]

Master bedrooms have high ceilings are large windows. They are finished with carpet and provide enough room for furniture.

The en-site bathrooms feature double vanity sinks, tile flooring, granite counter tops, a counter large mirror, elongated-style toilet, and a stand up shower with tile surround.

Living rooms are finished with carpet flooring. There are large floor to ceiling windows and some have sliding glass doors that leas our onto a private balcony.

Floor Plans


Swimming pool

Amenities at Optima Views include:

  • Parking
  • Pool
  • Exercise Room
  • Doorman
  • Party Room
  • Bike Room


Optima Views Bylaws
Pets Yes

  • Pets are permitted


The Optima Views has a green roof above the parking structure. This is environmentally beneficial because it creates a green space in the city. The more green spaces there are, the less intense heat-island effect will be on the community. Also, it helps to clean the air, providing a healthier environment.

Evanston has a reputation for its efforts regarding sustainability. Here are a few of their efforts:

  • There is an offshore wind farm in Lake Michigan.
  • A solar project with 25kW photo-voltaic systems of the roof of the cities water pumping station.
  • 65 gallon composting bins being re-purposed from old waste bins and distributed to the community.
  • The One Seed One program that aims to promote locally grown food and healthy eating habits. [5]


It's okay, because it's only a beer
  • Optima Views is the tallest residential building in Chicago's suburbs
  • The building is the winner of the Design Evanston Award for Excellence in Multi-Family Residential Design. The jury expressed admiration for the way the building's shape appears different from various angles.
  • In 2005, the building received a Distinguished Building Award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. [6]
  • Some of the strange laws in Illinois:
    • It is illegal to eat in a place that is on fire.
    • It is illegal to give a dog whiskey.
    • It is forbidden to fish while sitting on a giraffe's neck.
    • It is illegal to fly a kite within city limits. [7]
    • All bachelors must be called master, opposed to mister, when addressed by females.
    • It is forbidden to go bowling in Evanston.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Walk Score
  3. Emporis
  4. North Shore Real Estate Online
  5. City of Evanston
  6. Emporis
  7. Dumb Laws

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