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Preservation Watch

The nail-biting tension that has accompanied the for-sale listing of a John Van Bergen-designed Wilmette Prairie home has abated somewhat with news that the imperiled structure has been rented. That means owner/developer George Hausen isn't too pressed for cash. When Hausen listed the property in May for $599K it was read as a move to give the house a fighting chance, since he has no use for it. But it also opened up the very real possibility that someone else's big bucks would swoop in to demolish and build anew. After all, Hausen just finished a jumbo home on the neighboring lot that's listed for $1.5M. So it goes in the North Shore. The rental occupancy staves off such a fate, for a while anyway. Preservationists lost some interest in this fight once the Wright-Schindler cottage was removed from harm's way over the summer. Hopefully, some engagement will remain. [Trib, previously]