Promontory Point Conservancy
to protect and preserve
CPD & CDOT: Don’t destroy
Here’s the work we already did to get here
For over 20 years, the South Side community has worked to save Promontory Point’s limestone revetment from being demolished and replaced with concrete.
In 2002, the Chicago Park District (CPD) and the City (CDOT) put forward a “concrete/compromise” design that would have demolished the limestone revetment, replaced it with concrete, leaving only an ornamental row of stones at the top and severely restricted access to the water. The community rejected this plan.
In 2004, as Save the Point, the community funded its own engineering design study that demonstrated the historic limestone revetment could be restored. In fact, it was:
cheaper than demolition and concrete
studier and more durable than the concrete on the rest of the City lakefront
much more accessible and inclusive
The US Army Corps of Engineers Preservation Center weighed in, agreeing with the community-funded engineering report that the limestone could be restored and at less or the same cost as demolition and concrete.
In 2006, then-Senator Obama stepped in and started a new design process that would ensure restoration of the Point with:
maximum historic limestone;
minimum concrete; and
safe and generous access (ADA compliance) for all to both the revetment and the water
This process was stalled out by the City even though Promontory Point Conservancy continued to meet and talk regularly with governmental agencies and elected officials.
In 2017, Promontory Point was added to the National Registry of Historic Places for its distinctive and unique limestone revetment and people’s decades of enjoyment there. This sets Federal guidelines that protect the limestone revetment from demolition.
Here’s the current situation at the Point — Save the Point Again!
CPD and CDOT have used the rising lake levels and storm erosion in 2017-2019 to create a false emergency at Promontory Point. The erosion at the Point does not affect Lake Shore Drive or endanger private property or human life.
One year ago, the CDP and CDOT began preliminary engineering studies, planning and funding requests to replace the limestone revetment with concrete — without consulting the community, other governmental agencies or elected officials, and in violation of the original Federal 1993 operating agreement and the National Register standards.
Right now, we know:
the historic limestone revetment can be restored
community participation leads to good results for all
the 2006 Obama process needs jumpstarting and will get us where we want to go