Levy Senior and Community Center

Evanston, Illinois / United States of America

The 25,500 square foot Levy Senior Center is located in a 27 acre park. Since 2002, the Center has successfully served its original role and has expanded to include all-ages.

It has operated at maximum capacity for thirteen years, creating a space for the seniors while incorporating intergenerational programming. "The Architects produced a vibrant, multi-use Center that has served this diverse community with wide-ranging needs from yoga classes to weddings."

The design approach visually and symbolically maximizes the City’s finite green space with a see-through, pavilion-like building. The Center has three components: a glass- and wood louver-enclosed classroom wing, providing views into the Center and out to the park while protecting the occupants from the glare and heat of direct sunlight; a multipurpose gymnasium and theater enclosed with light-diffusing, translucent fiberglass panels; and offices and support spaces clad in brick and aluminum.

Natural materials were selected for durability and sustainability.  The center includes a courtyard specifically designed for use by physically disabled people.  A slate border inside and around the courtyard provides a tactile warning with high contrast definition for visitors who are visually impaired. The wood louvers are built from sassafras, a weather-resistant, sustainably-harvested species.

Architect of Record

Ross Barney Architects


City of Evanston

General Contractor

Bulley and Andrews


  • CE Anderson Associates
  • Ramm Associates
  • Terra Engineers