Preservation Engineering Studies
AKA: the legitimate community preservation plan
- July 31, 2023 Letter from McLaren Engineering Group, the Conservancy's marine engineering firm, unequivally stating that "the limestone revetment at Promontory Point exhibits no indications of imminent widespread failure. The structure currently functions as effective shoreline protection, and with maintenance and repairs to localized areas of deterioration, the limestone revetment can continue to serve Hyde Park and its surrounding communities."
- 2002 Galvin Marine Engineering Preservation Study
- 2003 Shabica Marine Engineering Study and Cost Analysis
- 2004 Kalven Mediation Report
- History of Uniquely Designed Groins Along the Chicago Lakeshore. Michael J. Chrzastowski. Journal of Coastal Research, Special issue no. 33: Functioning and Design of Coastal Groins: the Interaction of Groins and Beaches -- Process and Planning. Winter 2004, pp. 19-38. Promontory Point essentially functions like a groin, creating a shallow sand beach on the north side, especially in the cove, and creating deeper water for deep water swimming on the south side.
Historic Preservation Agreements and Decisions
- 1993 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
- 2002 IL State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) letter refusing a letter of no adverse effects
- 2006 Obama Scope of Work ( Obama SOW)
- Promontory Point Conservancy’s and other consulting parties' letter making a legal case to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Washington, DC, that the 1993 MOA is still in effect and prioritizes preservation at Promontory Point, September 8, 2022
- The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation letter to the Chicago Corps agreeing that the 1993 MOA is still in effect for Promontory Point and Morgan Shoal, and expressing its concerns about the Chicago Corps's preservation process at Promontory Point, December 13, 2022
- Local consulting parties draft amended MOA, September 19, 2023. Promontory Point Conservancy, Landmarks Illinois, Preservation Chicago and Friends of the Parks have prepared an amended MOA/programmatic agreement for the 2023 design and 2026 construction work planned at Promontory Point. This draft amended MOA, like the 1993 MOA, prioritizes a preservation approach and melds preservation with the US Army Corps' procedures
- Chicago Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers's draft amended MOA, June 2022. This is the most recently made available version from the Chicago Corps and fully supports the City's plans
Landmark Designation Reports
USACE and CDOT Demolition & Replacement Plans
These plans were created by the Chicago Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), and are referred to by the Corps as the “locally preferred plan”. They do not reflect the legitimate community plan for preservation or the community's wishes. (See Preservation Engineering Studies at the top of this page for the legitimate community plan for preservation.)
- Press release, "USACE Chicago District, the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Park District announce the Chicago Shoreline Project kicks off new phases", issued by the Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, January 30, 2023. Here the Chicago Corps explicitly states that "the original shorelines structures . . . no longer function" and it will "replace existing infrastructure and construct new structures". Although landmark protections dictate a preservation approach of repair and rehabilitation of the limestone revetment, the Chicago Corps already plans to demolish and replace the limestone with a new concrete structure -- determinations made prior to the Section 106 Review planned for 2024
- Lakefront-Shoreline Project, 2022-2026 from The CIty of Chicago Procurement Services. This document describes the parnership between the City of Chicago (CDOT), the Chicago Park District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reconstruct Promontory Point and lays out replacement in late 2025 and the program funding from bonds, federal and other (City) sources.
- CDOT's preferred solution for Promontory Point, (18 seconds), excerpted from the PBS presentation for the Morgan Shoal Project, May 18, 2022. Per the Chicago Corps' press release above, Promontory Point and Morgan Shoal are combined into a single undertaking, the Morgan Shoal Project, so that the storm damage erosion at Morgan Shoal can be ascribed to Promontory Point too. In this short video, the slide photo to the left, you will recognize as the north side of Promontory Point. And listen as a CDOT engineer clearly states that the "preferred solution" is replacement with a concrete structure. CDOT's official site for the Shoreline Protection Project, including Promontory Point in Reach 4 and the last paragraph of the project page explains the City's "preferred design of the revetment is vertical steel sheet piles to replace the damaged wood piles, and concrete steps and promenade to replace the existing stones."
- CDOT's BRIC FEMA Pre-application, September 2020
- Signed application which states “[a]ssessments performed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the City of Chicago and Chicago Park Distric have indicated that much of the protective shoreline structures are in a state of disrepair . . . "
- Exhibits, last page, shows the planned design for Promontory Point of demolition and replacement with concrete with decorative and ornamental limestone blocks. The exhibit photos also falsely ascribe storm damage at Morgan Shoal to Promontory Point so as to justify demolition and replacement at the Point too.
- SmithGroup Districtwide Lakefront Shoreline Assessment and Strategic Action Plan (redacted) This response to the Chicago Park District's RFP indicates that SmithGroup completed a condition study and a strategic design plan for Promontory Point in spring 2022. The Park District has confirmed its completion, promised to provide it to the Conservancy, and has failed to date to deliver.
- 2013 Illinois Shoreline Erosion Study Unknown to the Alderman and the community until recently, the Chicago Corps prepared this study of Promontory Point to obtain federal funding for construction. Its plans for Promontory Point are detailed on pages 21, 58-9, 106-7, 138-40, 326-7, 393-419 and 452-3 of this report. This plan shows the demolition of the historic limestone revetment and its replacement with concrete to match the 57th Street Beach design. Some limestone blocks are repurposed as the top tier of the concrete revetment as purely decorative and ornamental. This report also includes the Corps's original 1994 rubble mound solution to Promontory Point as an attachment
- 2001 Chicago Shoreline Protection Project, Reach 4 to 5A, 54th Street to 57th Street, July 2001. This plan when presented to the community in late January 2000 ignited Save the Point! and the community struggle to preserve the historic limestone revetment from demolition and replacement with concrete. A later version of this plan with more swim ladders was known as the 2002 "compromise plan"
- Chicago Shoreline Storm Damage Reduction, Reach 4 to 5A, 54th Street to 57th Street, July 2001. Chicago Dept. of Purchases, Contracts and Supplies. This document along with the plans above show the engineering drawings for the work planned for the Point in 2001-2007
Elected Representative and Organizations Supporting Preservation
- U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s letter to the Chicago Corps in support of preservation, October 25, 2021
- Illinois Senator Robert Peters letter to Illinois State Historic Preservation Office in support of preservation, February 13, 2022
- Illinois Senator Robert Peters letter to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks in support of Chicago Landmark status, January 2023