A Walkabout of Promontory Point in Chicago's Burnham Park

Return to Promontory Point Park Page

Return to The Point home page

Comparison pictures 51st-54th section, which used to look like the most broken up sections of the Point.

55th underpass, restored with new inner shell in 2002. The Fawn bronze casting and plinth with human and dog/horse watering fountain, David Wallach. (Would you believe someone stole this?--it was returned) A free bike clinic on the Lakefront Bike Trail, 2003.

Series of views from where the Point begins at a completed section of concrete and steel revetment reconstruction. (Project sponsors say they have learned from the mistakes. It still has not even temporary access at the ends and is now blocked at the Point end by fences and rubble mounds.)

As you go around the Point, note the fury of the Lake at times- the promenade can be a dangerous place for children when surf's up- and the failure of sections of the old wooden support cribs and metal bracing. The concrete platform with "coffin slabs" was added in the 1960s; part of the current argument is over whether this needs to be replaced. Note also that in many places the "steps" are hard to scramble up and down: at least wear loose clothing. Many people enter for deep water and distance swimming at various places around the Point (one of the few places this is done in Chicago--and it's definitely not allowed here), in part made easier by silting close to shore, especially on the northwest side.

Park sign entering 55th underpass from west
Fawn, David Wallach Memorial Fountain David Wallach Memorial Fountain and sculpture
closeup of inscription on Wallach Fountain a bicycle clinic near the Wallach Fountain
transition at 54t between new and old revetment new concrete revetment north of the Point
condition of failed reetmetn at northwest edge of pint, new concrete in distance classic scene enjoying theview across and north from northwest part of Point on  a calm day
south from the northwest end of the Poitn
looking at the north side of the Point
The north side cove and  bow-out  revetment and park Failed cribbing on the north side of the Point
North side, windy an high-wave day The field house "castle," Buchsbaum, 1930s. Lannon Wisc. limestone.
fieldhouse from southwest fieldhoue patio and window detailing from southwest, wedding setup. The great room was windowed (enclosed) in the 1880s.
Rounding the bend to the northeast section. Coffins arre wave deflectors from 1960s. Spray on the coffins
Spray on the coffins Spray on the coffins
An Alfred Caldwell council ring at the east end of the Point Rounding from the southeast to east (with end of coffinx)
Above: a council ring southeast of the fieldhouse, designed by Alfred Caldwell, Point landscape designer. Chief inspiration: his mentor, premier Prairie School landscape architect, Jens Jensen. Note from above right that the east end of the Point has some of the highest places and steepest descents. From there, as one heads towards the southwest end of the Point, the upper elevation gradually descends from as much as 18' to 12' and eventually to about 4' (one step). Failed crxibbing and sunken limestone blocks, southeast corner
Looking to southeast corner from south side. Note much less elevation Looking west along the south and southwest revetmetn
South/southwest southwest edge to partially done transition to protetion for 57th underpass north of 57th Beach
incomplete southwest transition incomplete southwest transition showing construction details
The Point's south end, like the north end, is now much more visible and will probably come to be defined as the start of the bulkhead to protect the new underpass under Lake Shore Drive, further east than we used to think of the start of the Point. the bulkhead is supposed to be softened by limestone and grass and sand should silt in. (Only the far part used to be beach). The limestone blocks to be used here were taken from this stretch of revetment and were stored at 51st Street.