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The "Nine Point Plan" for Promontory Point, as from October 1, 2001

This is the plan the city says the community and park district agreed to in 2001, even though it was loudly disliked at the October 1, 2001 largely attended community meeting. The city said as late as July, 2003 that this is still what is on the table. After previous community meetings, the newly formed Task Force executive committee as then constituted met with the governmental parties and Alderman Hairston at a series of often difficult small meetings. At these, the Task Force showed its research countered many of the design need criteria and other claims made by the government officials and engineers. A revised plan was gradually worked out more acceptable to the Task Force but based on concrete steps and largely exposed steel sheet wall. The city's insistence on universal access at all levels of the step stones and shore side promenade was a main reason, along with shore protection design criteria, that drove the insistence on concrete and steel design.

David Doig, Park District General Superintendent, agreed to signing a nine-point letter of understanding with Alderman Hairston in lieu of an agreement with "the community", which the park district does not do. (The Alderman, as far as the writer has determined, never signed the letter.) Up top the October 1 community meeting, the Task Force and its then leadership remained dissatisfied and there was "no agreement" until some final tweaking was done (reportedly approved in a call between Doig/Environment Commissioner Abolt and Mayor Daley). The city then presented its plan, which many testified against or shouted down. After the meeting, the city said the plan was off the table and there would be a holding period. Later, and continuing in summer, 2003, the city said it was holding for the Nine Point Agreement it said it had with the community and Task Force.

Remarks: Several items refer to modifications made to previous versions or are specific to autumn, 2001 and/or are no longer true (e.g. 57th beach). Point 2 is being implemented as part of the underpass protection and ramps as part of the CDOT Lake Shore Drive project. Point 3 results in less intrusion into the lake and deeper water, but would still have the revetment in effect built beyond the present--the Task Force plan does this less. The north drainage gap is at the transition of the northwest end of the revetment to the concrete continuation now built around the cove (51st to 54th). The Task Force plan uses this to gap to achieve ADA access entry to the revetment and to the promenade from the headland above it. Point 4. There is no mention of tinted concrete, as many assume there is. Point 6 c: the Task Force provides some more entry to the water, particularly on the northwest stretch. Point 5 e: this was a key final city compromise. Re: swimming, the previous and current task forces were very concerned about ability to safely get out of as well as into the water. The allowed-swimming restricted-area ribbon on the south side of the Point is widely considered unenforceable.

The plan

  1. The existing size of the 57th Street Beach will be maintained on the North end of the beach.
  2. The proposed concrete pier will be replaced by a partially submerged headland. Existing limestone blocks will be used for the top layer of the headland.
  3. The amount of concrete proposed in the 25 percent plans, as presented to the community in January [2001], will be reduced. the promenade width will be reduced from 26 feet to 16 feet along an approximate 600-foot length on the south side of the Point. More definition will be provided once the plans are developed closer to 75 percent.
    The north drainage gap will be reduced in size by approximately 40 percent, and the south drainage gap will be reduced by approximately 75 percent.
  4. The vertical surfaces of the concrete will be given a rougher texture to appear more like stone, and the joint spacing in the revetment steps will be staggered to appear more like cut stone. Samples of the concrete mix, form texture and plans for joint spacing will be presented to the community Task Force for review.
  5. 5 The bike paths and pedestrian walkways will be rebuilt to the same elevation as the top of the revetment or above, except for ramping to underpasses.
  6. The existing limestone blocks will be reused in the project in several ways:
    1. (a) Top layer of the stone headland describe above in item No 2;
    2. (b) Stone toe berm in from of the revetment as it approaches the beach;
    3. (c) Two 300 feet long platform steps will be built in front of the revetment extending from the promenade into the water. The design, which may have an interior section of another material, will be covered with the orginial limestone. One platform will be constructed on the north side, and one on the south side. Exact locations will be determined with the community following the next several weeks of additional modeling, coastal analysis, engineering and design;
    4. (d) Landscape architectural features immediately behind the revetment or elsewhere on the Point;
    5. (e) To hide the steel sheeting in front of the revetment toe stone will be placed t within 12 inches of the promenade around the entire project.
  7. Open water swim access will be designated from 57th Street Beach towards the end of the Point, as defined by a line of buoys. Safety exit ladders will be provided on both the north and south sides of the Point. However, for public safety the width of the swim area will not exceed 150 feet.
  8. Construction will be staged such that the north side of the Pint is constructed first, the south side is constructed second, and the entire Point is only under construction for approximately four months. The length of construction is expected to be two-and-a-half years. The Field House, 55th Street underpass and meadow will remain open throughout construction.
  9. The revetment height will not exceed +14 Low Water Datum. In addition, the height of the revetment will be tapered on the south side from +14 LWD to approximately +10 LWD at the beach and the beach house, and the project will be built in such a way as not to impede the view of the lake. The promenade will not exceed +5 LWD.