January 3, 2003 Letter from the Promontory Task Force and addendum by Cyril Galvin, coastal engineer

On Fri, 03 Jan 2003 08:52:34 -0600 Jack Spicer

Dear Friend of Promontory Point,

The Task Force for Promontory Point would like to thank you for your continuing interest in our community's efforts to preserve the history, beauty and recreational value of Promontory Point.

As you know, we retained a coastal engineer, Cyril Galvin, to conduct an independent engineering study of the existing limestone revetment. He has submitted his final report. It conclusively proves that the limestone at Promontory Point can be preserved--safely and affordably. The report offers a stinging indictment of city officials and their engineering consultants for repeated false statements about, and apparent ignorance of, key characteristics of Promontory Point. "Statements about Promontory Point made by government officials and their engineers are demonstrably wrong a surprising amount of the time when appeal is made to the written record and measurable facts in the field, " Galvin writes in his report. "The frequency and importance of these misstatements suggests that the burden of proof should rest with the government agencies and their engineers." (The full report is available at www.savethepoint.org.)

We have also retained a team of preservation architects, Frank Heitzman, AIA, and Wayne Tjaden, AIA, to develop a preservation plan for
Promontory Point based on Mr. Galvin's findings. Their plan will provide extensive access for persons with disabilities, as well as
swimming access for all. To assist them, we have retained John McGovern who chaired the United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (the "Access Board") Committee for Recreational Activities. He also served on their Outdoor Developed Areas Committee. Mr. McGovern will work with our architects to craft an appropriate plan for an accessible Point. He feels strongly that accessibility can be achieved while preserving the limestone revetment. John McGovern is the
leading national expert on accessibility for persons with disabilities at outdoor recreation areas. His committee essentially wrote the federal guidelines. If the City is sincere about accessibility, it should take Mr. McGovern's solutions very seriously.

Finally, with the ongoing leadership and support of 5th Ward Alderman, Leslie Hairston, we have formally asked the Chicago Landmarks Commission to declare Promontory Point a Chicago historic landmark. Promontory Point is well-deserving of landmark status. It is one of the three lakefront sites designed by renowned landscape architect Alfred Caldwell. The other two are the Lily Pool at the north end of Lincoln Park Zoo and the garden of Lake Point Tower, one of Chicago's most famous buildings. In addition, the Point may end up being the last surviving example of the beautiful limestone revetment that was built in the 1920's and '30's to create Chicago's man-made lakefront.

Thanks again for your continuing interest in our community's efforts to preserve Promontory Point.

Fred Blum
Bruce Johnstone
Jack Spicer
Connie Spreen

Executive Committee
Community Task Force for Promontory Point

To: jackspicer@earthlink.net
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 15:20:50 -0500
From: galvincoastal@juno.com

Dear Jack:

Thank you for the kind words about my work in the second paragraph of your email attached below. There is one aspect that I would expand: There are three parties that share the responsibility for the government side - the Corps of Engineers need to be in that list. They
control the overall plan and the money and must share in whatever blame goes around. Just how the blame is shared requires more study, but a major portion of the responsibility has to rest with the Corps, starting with the 1994 Feasibility Study. Here is a point of interest: it was not until the phone call discussion with the City and their engineers that it dawned on me that the City's engineers really were
unfamiliar with the site. I had been aware that there was a mismatch between my perceptions and theirs, but it did not become clear until that phone conversation that the mismatch was caused by the fact that they did not know elementary facts about the Point. I think this realization dawned on Bruce and I at about the same time. It was quite unexpected.
The best for the New Year.


Cyril Galvin, Coastal Engineer
Box 623, Springfield VA 22150, USA