BEWARE: Diversionary Point
At least one local politician in favor of preservation at Promontory Point was approached by the City (CDOT)/Chicago Park District (CPD) and asked if the community would support new limestone at the Point. Say what?!?
The limestone at the Point is 400 million years old* and probably will last another 400 million years.
We don’t need new limestone.
We need the limestone reset and re-grouted. We need the wooden cribs replaced with steel ones.
Pretty simple and cheap compared to what CDOT/CPD seem to be proposing with demolition of the existing limestone, new construction of concrete and a limestone veneer. It's the difference between about $20m for a preservation project and $100m for demolition, new construction and limestone cladding. New limestone is only a government boondoggle.
Later this summer, CPD, CDOT and the Chicago Army Corps will host their first community meeting about the Point as part of a Section 106 Review. It's likely they will pitch new limestone as a new compromise plan and their design charette. Don't be fooled by this charade.
JUST SAY NO TO DEMOLITION!
JUST SAY YES TO REPAIRING, RESTORING AND REHABILITATING THE EXISTING LIMESTONE!
Construction finishing touches on the original 1922-1937 lakefront limestone revetment. This know-how and engineering is still available today and is being used right now to restore historic stone seawalls and revetments at Ellis Island and other National Park and Historic Monument locations. Photo courtesy of CDOT
This engineering drawing illustrates how repair and rehabilitation of the existing limestone works today. This preservation repair and restoration is mandated by the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation and allows for creative adapation for ADA compliance for access to the water for all. Excerpt from the Kalven Mediation Report, 2004.
* Data from Fred Blum, geologist