Project Description

Our clients own a lakefront Tudor revival home built in 1910, located in the Evanston Lakeshore Historic District. They shared an asphalt driveway with their neighbors, who reside in a newer construction home built in 2005, situated closer to Lake Michigan. The shared driveway was narrow, which caused traffic issues when homeowners were coming home or leaving at the same time, and issues with vehicles hitting retaining walls.

A few years ago, the two neighbors and a third collaborated together to create private sand beaches on the lake. The undertaking involved the delivery and placement of hundreds of large boulders and lots of sand, heavy machinery, and equipment. The driveway was damaged as a result, and repair was necessary.

Our clients requested a wider, more beautiful driveway, constructed of clay pavers with decorative accents, with built-in lighting to improve wayfinding at night, improved drainage and curbing. Some of the obstacles that impacted the design included straightening the driveway to reduce headlights on the house without interfering with the integrity of existing trees, shrubs and retaining walls.

During the course of construction, we changed the grade of the driveway to improve its function, to prevent cars from scraping the driveway as they pull into the lower level garage. Downspouts that were dumping rainwater onto the driveway surface were re-directed underground to a drain tile system. Reducing the amount of rain water going to the driveway from the downspouts and proper grading to redirect surface water resulted in improved driveway function, eliminating drainage issues.

LED low voltage landscape lighting is in both of the properties as well as in the driveway to make it easier to traverse the driveway at night. The LED low voltage lighting system utilizes cutting edge technology to illuminate the properties on a completely customizable automated system, which maximizes lighting potential, while reducing monthly operating costs.

Two more elements that beautify the property are entrance columns and a fountain. Four 5-foot mortared brick columns with tall lanterns mark entrance and exit points at the street and add distinction to both properties. The round cast stone fountain, set in the lawn, aligned with its front entrance, has a surrounding walk of laser-cut Valders stone slabs for visitors who gather around it. The fountain is illuminated at night.

This 8,000 sq. foot paver project was awarded a 2016 Hardscape North America Award in the Clay Brick Residential Category and a 2018 Excellence in Landscape Gold Award in the Residential Landscape Construction category from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA). It was also featured in the digital edition of Turf Magazine. Read the article here.