July 13 2003 Task Force Preservation Plan

Text of the introduction and summary. (Ser. 2003-2004,#1)

(This is an abbreviated version of the full report, which contains engineering details)
Full Report (in Save the Point website—expect a really long time to load, or contact the Hyde Park Historial Society concerning print version)

Graphics of the Plan, including differences from May 1 version, along with press coverage


Links; Navigator to the page Series 2003-2004

The Point home and subpages. www.SaveThePoint.org site incl. plans
City/Dept. of Environment site with city plan updates, graphics. More precise urls in #10 below
Point Working Group (Mediator's) website: www.thepoint.invisibleinstitute.com.

The huge inflow of letters to the Herald are cached in www.hpherald.com/pointletters022504.pdf
Alderman Hairston's email. To Alderman's website- find City Council and scroll to name.

Mid-2003-March 2004 Series:
1: [This page:] July 13 Task Force Preservation and Access Plan Text
2: Reports and more text, links to view plans
3: September 10 public briefing and summary
4: Reports of the Mediator of the Working Group meetings

5: Reports and Appeals March-December 2003
6: Reports, Appeals, Press from Jan.-Feb. breakdown period, incl. Mediator's Statement
7: Point dispute-statements-coverage-Rossi late Feb./March 2004
8: Latest Promontory Point news: Expectations for resumed talks, perspectives
9: The March 9 summit and costing tasks to lead to final working group report due April 15
10: Listing on the '10 Most Endangered list; disputes over plans and 1994 Memorandum
11: Latest Promontory Point news, Expectations for resumed talks, perspectives

12: From the Mediator's Final Report of May, 2004
[See full navigator list of 2003> series in Latest Point. Read 1993 Memorandum of Agreement in 2005 Scope of Work Agreement page.]

Promontory Point in Burnham Park

54th to 57th Streets in Chicago, Illinois

July 13, 2003

The Hyde Park Community's Proposal for the Preservation, Restoration and Enhancement of the Historic Stepped Limestone Revetment system at Promontory Point

Presented by the Hyde Park Historical Society and the Community Task Force for Promontory Point


Preservation Plan for Promontory Point in Burnham Park


The seawall which lines much of Chicago's Lake Michigan coastline has deep historic, aesthetic and recreational value to the citizens and communities who use it, and residents and visitors to Chicago alike. It also serves an important engineering purpose, preventing erosion of the parkland and the lake's shore. As the original shoreline revetment, built in the 1930s of quarried limestone, enters its seventh decade of use, the City of Chicago has turned its attention to its repair and replacement. Construction work on the revetment began in 1998, and will span almost ten years before it is done.

The background of this project starts much earlier, as far back as 1974, when the City and the federal government began to work together to assess the extent of the work needed, and to bring federal dollars to the City to help fund construction. The process involved studies and meetings, Congressional oversight and public input. By 1994, when the Army Corps of Engineers published their feasibility report ("Illinois Shoreline Erosion, Interim III Wilmette to Illinois State Line"), a long and careful process of seeking participation, comment, and input from the public and from governmental agencies on every level had been documented and included in the report to Congress. The single strongest item of concern, "articulated throughout the project evaluation period," was the expression of a preference for a limestone step-stone design matching the existing design, designated "Plan IV," rather than the Corps' rubble mound plan. indeed, various departments in the City of Chicago (the 'local sponsors") worked hard for the step-stone. The Corps responded: "The step-stone revetment plan was considered the preferred plan by the local sponsors and by a number of public and private entities."

Typical among comments [italics added]:

- from the Illinois Department of Transportation: "To recommend rubblemound revetments in areas that formerly provided significant passive and active recreational and aesthetic opportunities, and which has made Chicago one of the premier urban waterfronts in the country, as the federal supportable plan would not seem to be in the Corps' best interest. ...[T]he lead state agency for the state of Illinois, supports Plan IV."

- from the US Department of the Interior: "[W]e believe that Plan IV would be aesthetically preferable to the other structural alternatives."

- from the Lake Michigan Federation: "[We] support the step-stone revetment plan on the grounds that: ...the Chicago lakefront is a renown model for public access and aesthetics along an urban shoreline ...this plan is sensitive to the Chicago historic heritage, including the Lake Michigan shoreline and the historic lakefront parks. this plan represents citizen interests and involves meaningful citizen participation."

- from the Jackson Park Advisory Council: "[We] approve the plan to rebuild the step-stone revetments ...The accessibility of the lake to the public and the aesthetic quality of the lakefront are tremendous financial assets to Chicago."

- from Friends of the Parks: [We] support Plan IV, the rebuilding of the sep-stone revetments..."

- from 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle: The "step-stone plan will also maintain safe access to the shoreline while preserving its historical and aesthetic value."

- and from individual concerned citizens: "The aesthetics of the lakefront are extremely important...." "I strongly prefer the stepping stones...;" "Please choose step-stone revetments...;" "Please use the step-stone revetment approach..."

The City's own planning objectives for the project matched the public desire: The City of Chicago's stated policy was to "preserve the cultural, historical, and recreational heritage of the lakeshore parks." The Chicago Park District stated that "[o]ne key objective of the CPD is to insure that [the new revetment] would not reduce or limit the historical emphasis of the Park District on shore accessibility, safety, and aesthetics for park users." Indeed, the City and various agencies within it fought hard, alongside an impassioned public, for the step-stone design.

The message was clear, and the Corps responded: "The step-stone was analyzed from an engineering, economic and environmental perspective and wa shown to be feasible. ...Accordingly, in view of the local support for the step-stone revetment plan, the Corps of Engineers elected to recommend that plan for implementation."


The US Congress then authorized the building of the Corps-approved step-stone revetment design, and committed federal money to its construction. Read Memorandum of Agreement 1993 in Latest (bottom of that page).

[Emphases below added by this transcriber, GMO]

Where the shoreline revetment borders historic properties, like Promontory Point, the legislation goes further: Government agencies drafted and signed an agreement for the historical preservation of properties on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Memorandum of Agreement* specifies "that the design and construction of the revetment will match the existing" revetment on those properties. That Agreement is signed by the President's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, by the City of Chicago, by the Chicago Park District, by the Army Corps of Engineers, and by the Illinois Historic Preservation Officer. The Agreement is part of the legislation, is still in force, and governs the work to be done at Promontory Point. [*See 1993 Memorandum in Scope of Work page.}

No where in the 358-page document [House Document 103-302] governing federal interest in Chicago's lakefront construction does the concrete and steel design appear.

The Hyde Park Historical Society, the Community Task Force for Promontory Point, an the broad consensus of community park users continue to advocate for and support the preservation of the limestone stop-stone revetment at Promontory Point. The Community Task Force is a broad-based citizen's group charged by the community with representing its interests at the Point, and with coordinating an extraordinary effort of community investment in research and expert studies to support a limestone preservation plan. The community has raised over $50,000 to fund studies by two coastal engineers, a national expert on access for persons with disabilities, and two preservation architects. These studies are intended to help the Park District to develop a preservation plan consistent with the federal legislation, with the Memorandum of Agreement, and with the desires of the community.

This report details one such preservation plan. It incorporates sound contemporary engineering, meaningful accessibility, and historic preservation. It is beautifully designed, elegantly balancing the sometimes competing needs of engineering and aesthetics. It is consistent with the Memorandum of Agreement and is therefore federally supportable. The significance of this report is that it proves the feasibility of a historic preservation of the limestone revetment at Promontory Point which meets the economic, engineering, recreational and aesthetic requirements.

The Hyde Park Historical Society, the Community Task Force for Promontory Point, and community park users offer this document to the Chicago Park District and its partners in a spirit of cooperation as they work to design the revetment at Promontory Point. This plan answers the concerns of the Park District as it struggles to integrate proper engineering, compliance with federal legislation, including its preservation agreement, and the wishes of citizens and communities of Chicago. This report provides meaningful solutions to real problems. We intend to work side by side with the Park District to insure that we treat Promontory Point with the dignity and respect of a historical landmark of the City of Chicago. This extraordinary park deserves an extraordinary collaboration between city agencies and our community.


Summary of Features of the Hyde Park Community's Shoreline Preservation Plan


Cost Estimate

Description Item Quantity Units Unit Price Amount
MOBILIZ/DE 001 1 LS $1,400,000.00 $1,400,000.00
TEMP FLD OFF, SIGNAGE 002 1 LS $578,532.50 $578.532.50
SITE PREP, DEM          
Struct removal 003 1 LS $179,523.50 $170,523.50
Reset exist stone as toe 004 6,285 TON $110.00 $691,350.00
Reclaim exist toe stone 005 12,000 TON $50.00 $600,000.00
Earth fill 006 5,000 CY $8.50 $40,000.00
Topsoil replacement 007 7,625 CY $11.00 $83,875.00
Geotextile (above water) 008 75,000 SF $0.23 $17,250.00
Geotextile (below water) 009 37,500 SF $3.35 $125,625.00
Type A (sawcut, Elliott Quarry) 010 5,300 TON $150.00 $795,000.00
Type A (other Bedford, Elliott) 011 5,400 TON $135.00 $729,000.00
Type B (200-800 lbs.) 012 2,140 TON $60.00 $128,000.00
Type C (1 to 150 lbs.) 013 3,900 TON $55.00 $214,500.00
Select CDOT CA-7 crushed lime 014 16,630 TON $22.55 $375,006.00
Bedding special.IDOT CA-1 gradation 015 48,000 TON 22.00 $1,056,000.00
SOD 016 114,942 SF $0.40 $45,976.00
BITUM CONCRETE PAVE'T 017 26,300 SF $4.30 $113,090.00
Furnish-place promenade, stairs ramps, storm gaps 018 5,921 CY $380.00 $2,249,980.00
Grout below C Promenade, E Stepstones 019 2,500 CY $125.00 $312,500.00
STEEL H-PILES          
Battered HP 12x53 020 6,150 FT $35.90 $220,785.00
Battered HP 14x73 021 12,470 FT $41.90 $522,493.00
Vertical HP 112x74 022 18,415 FT $27.60 $508,254.00
Test Pile Load Test 023 1 LS $45,000.00 $45,000.00
WOOD PILES (Ironwood Lumber WI) 024 1,430 FT $110.00 $157,300.00
Steel sheet pile PZ27 025 142,495 SF $17.30 $2,465,163.50
Walers and struts for steel piling 026 1 LS $794,0000.00 $794,000.00
Walers and channels for wood piling 027 1,430 FT $225.00 $321,750.00
STAINLESS STEEL RAINING 028 960 FT $110.00 $105,600.00
SUBTOTAL         $14,875,954.56
CONTINGENCY         $2,231,393.18
GRAND TOTAL (2-YEARS)         $17,107,347.73



Hyde Park Historical Society, Alice Schlessinger, President

Community Task Force for Promontory Point Executive Committee

Fred Blum
Bruce Johnstone
Jack Spicer
Connie Spreen


Frank Heitzman, AIA, Architect
Wayne Tjaden, AIA, Architect
Cyril Galvin, Coastal Engineer
Charles Shabica, Coastal Engineer
John McGovern, Accessibility Advisor

The Community Task Force gratefully acknowledges the major financial support from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and is thankful to the hundreds of individuals and businesses who have donated funds to support this effort.

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