Over the past two months, the Conservancy has journeyed through high points and low points and back again. Here's the backstory to the Mayor's pledge for preservation last week.
At our press conference on May 26, the first annual Point Day, we announced U.S. Congresswoman Kelly's funding authorization for the 2007 appropriation for a preservation study of Promontory Point. The press conference was a high point as all elected represenatives but Mayor Lightfoot publically endorsed both the community's 22-year efforts to save the Point and Kelly's preservation proposal.
On June 14, at the partners-stakeholder quarterly meeting, it was confirmed that the Chicago Army Corps, Chicago Park District (CPD) and the City (CDOT) were not pausing the current GRR study of Promontory Point to wait for Kelly's preservaton study in 2023, making Kelly's study moot and obsolete. We also discovered that CPD hired its principle contractor SmithGroup to conduct a condition study of the Chicago lakefront for erosion damage. CPD acknowledged that the study and the portion for the Point are completed but refused to provide us a copy even though it technically is in the public domain. Mayor Lightfoot’s own press statement that the Point is washing away and sadly can’t be saved suggested that the Mayor was well informed about the SmithGroup condition report for the Point and its proposed demolition and concrete reconstruction.
In response to the Mayor's comments, the Conservancy wrote an op ed in the Hyde Park Herald and invited the Mayor to tour the Point with us and see for herself that it's not washing away and can be fixed.
The Mayor accepted our invitation and on the 4th of July, she joined members of the Conservancy and Alderman Leslie Hairston at the Point. We walked together around the Point for an hour, discussing and examining how the limestone revetment can be repaired and restored. Since then, the Conservancy was in suspense until last week when we learned about the Mayor's endorsement of a preservation approach at the Point.
Debra Hammond is currently an officer of Promontory Point Conservancy. She has always been tall for her age