Some Promontory Point reports and releases, mid-late 2003 (2003-4 series, #6)

The Point home and sub site incl. plans
City/Dept. of Environment site with city plan updates
Point Wkg Group (Mediator's) website:
The huge inflow of letters to the Herald are cached in
Alderman Hairston's email. To Alderman's website- find City Council and scroll to name.

Mid-2003-March 2004 Series:
1: July 13 Task Force Preservation and Access Plan
2: Reports and text, views, links to view plans
3: City counter/compromise plan, reinstated Jan. 28, 2004
4: September 10 public briefing and summary
5: Reports of the Mediator of the Working Group meetings

6: [This page:] Reports and Appeals March-December 2003
7: Reports, Appeals, Press from Jan.-Feb. breakdown period, incl. Mediator's Statement
8: Point dispute-statements-coverage-Rossi late Feb./March 2004
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


March 12, 2003. In the Hyde Park Herald and distributed by the Task Force


Hyde Park Historical Society, Community Task Force for Promontory Point

Dear Friend of Promontory Point,

The effort to preserve and restore Promontory Point is moving forward. Cyril Galvin presented his engineering report to the community on October 1. He concluded that preserving the limestone vestment at Promontory Point was technically feasible and very affordable.

Since then our preservation architects, Frank Heitzman and Wayne Tjaden, and a nationally recognized expert on access for persons with disabilities, John McGovern, have been refining Mr. Galvin's basic structure. Their plan includes access for persons with disabilities and water access for swimmers. The architects have completed preliminary drawings and will present their plan for review to the community at a public meeting on May 1.

During the coming weeks we would like to show the plans to as many community groups, organizations and individuals as possible. The more people who contribute ideas while the plan is developing, the stronger the plan will be. If you ar part of a church, club, condo board, school, community organization, or other group and would like us to meet with you to hear your reactions or suggestions, pleas contact us. ( or 324-5476.) We'd like to meet with as many groups as possible before the May 1 community meeting.

Our goal is to work with the Chicago Park District to preserve Promontory Point. The Park District has recently said, "We're not going to start digging...out there without an understanding from the community." Alderman Leslie Hairston has been very supportive of the task force's efforts to preserve the Point's limestone revetment and she continues to urge the Park District to cooperate with the community.

Thank you for your support.

Fred Blum, Bruce Johnstone, Jack Spicer, Connie Spreen, Executive Committee, Community Task force for Promontory Point

Visit our website to learn more.



Hyde Park Historical Society, Community Task Force for Promontory Point

[boards] March, 2003

Dear Friend of Promontory Point,

If you would like to support the effort to preserve the Point, please consider writing a letter to Mayor Daley with copies to the other three persons listed below. Please indicate in your letter that you support the preservation plan being presented by the Community Task Force for Promontory Point. A letter of support might go something like this:

Dear Mayor Daley,

I am very concerned about the future of Promontory Point. I have reviewed the preservation plan presented by the Community Task for Promontory Point. I think this plan is a feasible way to repair the limestone revetment while providing outstanding access for persons with disabilities and enhanced recreational opportunities. The restoration and preservation of this historic park is very important to me. (Etc.)

Richard M. Daley, Mayor, Chicago City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60602

Valerie Jarrett, President, South East Chicago Commission, 1511 E. 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615

Hank (or Henry S.) Webber, Vice President for Community and Governmental Affairs, The University of Chicago, 5801 S. Ellis Avenue, Room 605, Chicago, IL 60637

Leslie A. Hairston, Alderman, 5th Ward Office, 1900 E. 71st Street, Chicago, IL 60649


Thank you for your support

[sign. as per previous]


About the preliminary access plan

A public meeting was held May 1, 2003 to present and seek comment on the revised Community Plan, particularly disabilities and swimming access. A 45-day comment period for the public and the city /Army Corps was held and the city did respond informally. This was followed by the final report including cost and feasibility (with outside confirmation), rolled out July 13. A response is expected within a very few weeks.

Those with access or other comments and questions should contact Jack Spicer, 773 324-5476 or Robert Heitzman. Also submit comments on line at Or mail to Save The Point,1642 East 56th Street, #100, Chicago, Illinois, 60637 or to Jack Spicer, 5536 S. Kimbark, Chicago, IL 60637.

People should also know that any plan, city or task force, will at least in part use concrete, at least in substrate at most badly eroded sections (north) and for the platform/promenade around the the water's edge and sheet steel.

Want to learn/discuss in person? Point Task Force members will from time to time on weekends have a table with design drawings at the Point. Staffing is being recruited. Contact Jack Spicer.


Together, we will save HP's Promontory Point

May, 2003:

The Community Task Force on Promontory Point wishes to thank all those who attended the May 1 public meeting. Frank Heitzman and Wayne Tjaden, the Task Force preservation architects, presented the plan for preserving the Point. The plan is quite beautiful and the engineering is solid. It calls for limestone blocks and provides access for people with disabilities and enhanced recreation for all.

As announced at the May 1 meeting, the public is invited to respond to the plan during a public comment period that will continue until June 15. During the comment period, individuals and community groups have an opportunity to contribute suggestions or criticisms as the architects develop their final report. This can be done online through, by mail to the Hyde Park Historical Society, or in person at a Task Force presentation. Members of the Task Force will meet to discuss the plan with interested groups or organizations who seek to have input into the process (contact us through the Web site.) The final report will be published July 1.

Following publication of the report, the Task Force will call upon the City and Park District to participate in a summit to address the community's plan.

Over the past two years, and especially during the last few months, many community groups and individuals have participated in developing the plan for the Point. We have been amazed--at times even overwhelmed--by the number of Hyde Parkers who are deeply concerned with and actively involved in this project. This experience confirms our commitment to an open process for making decisions.

In the past year, the Task Force's professional consultants have thoroughly and thoughtfully examined and responded to all the objections to limestone restoration that the Park District has raised. The documentation disproving numerous erroneous assertions made by the City is on file with the Park District and is posted on our Web site. We look forward to a productive and open dialogue with the Park District and hope for the same level of care that they have extended to other exemplary park project.

The Point is one of the most wonderful public places in our neighborhood, indeed in the entire Chicago park system. Working together as a strong and engaged community, we can save this important public resource; we can save Promontory Point.

Fred Blum, Bruce Johnstone, Jack Spicer, Connie Spreen--Executive Committee, Community Task Force for Promontory Point

Dear Friend of Promontory Point,
We’re writing to bring you up to date on the ongoing effort to Save the Point, and to ask you to help by sending a letter to Mayor Daley at this crucial moment in the process.

At a public meeting on May 1, Frank Heitzman and Wayne Tjaden, the Task Force preservation architects, presented a plan for Promontory Point to a large and enthusiastic audience. The plan is quite beautiful and the engineering is solid. It calls for limestone blocks and provides access for people with disabilities and enhanced recreation for all.
We are soliciting public comments on the plan until June 15. The architects will prepare their final report by July 1, and the cost analysis will be completed at around the same time. Following publication of the report, the Task Force will call upon the City and Park District to participate in a summit to address the community's plan.

How you can help us now:
At this point in our effort to preserve the limestone revetment at Promontory Point, the best way you can help us is to write a letter to Mayor Daley. He has not yet spoken on the issue publicly.
We mean it—write that letter! A flood of letters arriving at the mayor’s office in the next few weeks will send a clear message that preserving Promontory Point is an issue in our community that cannot be ignored. The Mayor is sensitive to his image as steward of Chicago’s natural beauty. He needs to know that our community holds him accountable for the fate of the Point.
We are including some practical suggestions for letter topics, which you may cut and paste and rephrase freely. We encourage you to write your letter as you see fit. If you would like more background information, or if you would like to see sample letters, please go to our website at:

Ideas to include in your letter:

--Citizens of the South Side lakefront communities love the Point’s stepped limestone revetment.
--Citizens have repeatedly and clearly rejected the exclusive use of concrete and steel in the new revetment at the Point. We have seen what these structures look like, and we find them ugly, forbidding, and dangerous.
--We will not accept a revetment at Promontory Point that fundamentally alters its limestone aesthetic, and we will not accept a do-nothing attitude either.

--The 1995 Act of Congress that funded the lakeshore protection plan specified a stepped limestone revetment for Promontory Point, as well as for other segments of the shore where the city has subsequently built concrete revetments.
--In testimony and commentary supporting that act of Congress, numerous agencies (including the Illinois Department of Transportation) strongly recommended restoring the limestone revetment at Promontory Point.
--City officials and their engineering contractors have made repeated misstatements of fact about the condition of the Point and what reasonable steps can be taken to repair it. Citizens are offended by this behavior.
--The mayor has shown great initiative in the past in enhancing city parks and thoroughfares. In that spirit, he should listen to what park users want.

--The limestone blocks are good for sitting and sunbathing.
--As part of the work on the Point, the city should officially legalize swimming there. It should continue to post lifeguards, and it should stop harassing swimmers.
--The preservation plan calls for using some limestone blocks in the water. These provide an enjoyable way for people to get in and out of the water, and also enhance fishing opportunities by providing a good habitat for fishes.

--Citizens have taken it upon themselves to raise more than $50,000 to fund an engineering study and a preservation plan to save the limestone revetment. We are surprised that the city has responded with indifference.
--Studies funded by the Task Force have proven that:
· The existing limestone blocks can be reused
· New stone blocks are available from numerous quarries
· New stone blocks are affordable
· A revetment rebuilt in limestone would last for at least the required 50 years
· The current revetment is not in immediate danger of collapse
· There are no caverns under the fieldhouse
· The Point is not attacked by 30' foot waves
· A limestone design can provide accessibility for persons with disabilities.
--Citizens are well-organized and determined to save the limestone at the Point.
--The preservation plan is an environmentally friendly approach to the Point. Using limestone is less energy-intensive than using reinforced concrete.
--The Task Force has shown flexibility in its preservation plan, addressing or accommodating all of the city’s objections to using limestone.

--Citizens agree with the city that a restored revetment at Promontory Point should be accessible to all.
--The community’s preservation plan includes ample and varied accessibility features, while preserving the overall aesthetic of limestone.
--In drafting the preservation plan, the Task Force consulted local groups of people with disabilities, and these groups have endorsed the plan.
--The city claims that concrete revetments elsewhere on the lakefront are accessible, but in fact those concrete revetments are dangerous to people with disabilities.

--No other city in the country has a coastline as beautiful as Chicago’s, and we believe that preserving its beauty is of paramount importance.
--The limestone revetment at Promontory Point is a jewel of the lakefront, a fine example of the Prairie School landscape architecture inspired by Jens Jensen and Alfred Caldwell.
--The limestone revetment is natural and beautiful. We want it repaired, but in a way consistent with its current aesthetics.
Send your letter to:
Richard M. Daley
Chicago City Hall
121 N. LaSalle, 5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

Thank you. Your letter, and those of your friends, will help us save Promontory Point.
Executive Committee, Community Task Force for Promontory Point
P.S. In addition to writing a letter yourself, please forward this to as many other people as possible, and you might also forward this e-mail to potentially concerned out-of-town friends. You can also refer interested parties to the website ( for a clear presentation of all of the major issues.


Task Force Release, July 9, 2003

Dear Friend of Promontory Point--

You may be aware that the Chicago Park District has publicly announced that they intend to proceed with their plan to rebuild Promontory Point with concrete and steel. And they intend to start their work this fall [ed. note-they now say early next year]. The Community Task Force has asked David Doig, the Park District Commissioner, to back off of this aggressive position. We have asked him to publicly re-state his commitment to working with the community to reach a consensus and to reassure us that he will not begin construction without community approval.

Many of you have e-mailed in the last few days expressing deep concern and promising individual, angry action if the city moves forward with its plan. This e-mail is to let you know what we are currently doing, and to assure you that some avenues of cooperative, diplomatic effort remain to be exhausted. It is more important than ever that we maintain the composure and dignity that has characterized the Community Task Force for Promontory Point and the Save The Point effort from the very beginning.

The Task Force will continue to seek positive, cooperative dialogue with the Park District.

We have just received a preliminary report from Charles Shabica, one of our coastal engineers. Mr. Shabica is preparing an engineering review and a cost analysis of the preservation plan presented by the Task Force architects, Frank Heitzman and Wayne Tjaden. Mr. Shabica concludes that the Task Force plan is structurally sound and can be built. His work is impeccable and exceeds Army Corps standards.

Please join us on Sunday, July 13, at Noon at the Point Field House for the release of our final preservation feasibility report. Our architects and engineers will be there to explain the plan and answer questions.

We continue to work with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency in Springfield. They are responsible for ensuring that the revetment project complies with the National Historic Preservation Act. They have recently stated publicly that the Park District's concrete and steel design is in violation of the 1993 Memorandum of Agreement which is part of the federal law and mandates preservation of the limestone revetment at Promontory Point. The Agency intends to ensure compliance.

This week the Park District will present its plans to the South East Chicago Commission, the University of Chicago's neighborhood development group, for endorsement. In the coming weeks the Task Force will present its plan as well. Please write Valerie Jarrett (President, South East Chicago Commission, 1511 E. 53rd St, Chicago, IL, 60615) to express your support for preservation. The SECC may endorse the community's preservation efforts, as so many other community groups have.

Many of you have already written to Mayor Richard Daley (Chicago City Hall, 5th Floor, 121 N. LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60602). If you have not already done so, please write him now. It really will make a difference.

Most important, the effort to save Promontory Point is a reflection of the community's passionate and extraordinary support for preserving this magnificent park. The Community Task Force remains committed to our community and to the preservation of the limestone revetment at Promontory Point.

Executive Committee, Community Task Force for Promontory Point
Fred Blum
Bruce Johnstone
Jack Spicer
Connie Spreen


After the silence that followed the City's August counter (top two steps limestone, rest concrete) and start of negotiations, the media avalanche renewed in November....

We start this background section with a strongly-worded editorial by the Herald November 26 and the December 3 response and report by the Task Force.

Community deserves a voice in Point dispute

Hyde Park Herald, November 26, 2003

For the last two years, letters addressing the city’s plan for Promontory Point dominated Herald editorial pages. But nary a one has been written to us in months on the subject. Phone calls about it have long stopped, and now even calls from residents asking what is going on have dwindled. The subject is hardly mentioned in street corner conversations. Practically the only reminder of the most enthusiastic public debate in decades are the blue and white Save the Point bumper stickers still seen on many neighborhood cars.

This is a frustrating and untimely shift that can be blamed squarely on the decision by city officials to insist on private negotiations.

The battle against the city’s plan to rip out Promontory Point’s limestone steps and replace them with a concrete and steel revetment entered a new stage a few months ago, when a small group of Hyde Parkers from the Task force to save Promontory Point began negotiations with several city and park district representatives toward a final end to the years-long, very public dispute.

It was a stage that would consist of critical, private negotiations considered the necessary final steps to hammering out a compromise design. Because city officials could not bear the pressure of scrutiny, meetings would be closed to the public and the press. It was a stage that would last only a few weeks or month, and would climax in a large meeting featuring the unveiling of the plan. To further mitigate the distastefulness of these secret meetings, reports would be regularly posted on the Internet for resident perusal.
But the months have slipped by, and there has been no public meeting. There have been no reports.

Reportedly, meetings between Hyde Parkers and city and park officials have broken down. the process has shriveled and is now apparently in the hands of a few personalities, including the paid mediator, the heads of the city departments and a few from the Hyde Park establishment.

In this way, the issue vanished from public view.

The private negotiations are shortsighted. The deliberate destruction of one of the city’s most open debates was agreed to because both city officials and limestone advocates thought it would benefit their efforts. If it were a different issue, or another individual’s efforts, such secrecy would be unacceptable.

A faithful record of the past is needed to open more doors to the future. For a long time, when Promontory Point was regularly reported in the daily papers and on the television, it was recognized as a citizen-driven battle against a city too comfortable with its own power. The power in part drew from its unique ability to serve as a precedent. But now, setting a useful precedent of independent citizen action no longer seems a likely outcome. A battle led by a whole community teaches a different civic lesson than one led by a few people. The latter is a lesson we are too familiar with in Chicago.

But the opportunity still exists, and we need to reclaim it.

We appeal to those involved to write the Herald a detailed analysis and explanation of where the Point issue now stands.

We will happily publish the letter in full, along with any follow up announcements of schedules, predictions, hopes, efforts. The Task Force feared if they did not close the process they would lose everything. But the loss of public interest is losing everything. It is time t break the silence and let the public debate begin again.


Task Force open letter in December 3, 2003 Hyde Park Herald

[This was in response to an editorial in the Herald November 26.]

Task Force calls for end to silence on Point

To the Editor:

Your editorial of last week on Promontory Point was blunt and correct—the preservation effort is currently stalled and silent ["Community deserves a voice in Point dispute," Nov. 26, 2003].

The Community Task Force has always had one simple goal—to represent our community in an open, public process in pursuit of a restored Promontory Point.

The Task Force was formed by the community and Alderman Hairston (5th) for this effort and has produced an outstanding preservation plan that incorporates rich accessibility for persons with disabilities and broad swimming access for all. The city was unwilling to accept this plan and the situation remained deadlocked for many months. When Valerie Jarrett of the South East Chicago Commission offered her help to arrange for mediation of the conflict between the community and the city, we felt this was an opportunity to move forward.

The city would only agree to mediation if the meetings were closed to the press and the public. We hoped to minimize this danger to the open, transparent nature of the community's effort by having a short process with prompt, public reports from the mediator. Unfortunately, the reports have not been timely and we are long past the October 1 deadline for completing the mediation meetings.

Here is a brief history of the mediation:

We are confident that this review will confirm, for the fourth time, the validity of the Task Force engineering and the viability of the community's preservation plan. And we hope that with this reassurance the city will then work with the community to preserve Promontory Point.

But the long delays and the failure of the reporting procedure have seriously compromised the mediation process. The city's continued insistence on private meetings and the exclusion of the press is an injury to democratic process and an insult to our community. This process was established in the first place because of the extraordinary energy of the community and the persistence of the press.

We call on the mediator and the city representatives to join the Community Task Force in open, public meetings with the community and press. We hope such meetings will reestablish this process as a public one. The public and the press are essential parties to any decision on the future of Promontory Point.


Report and Schedule by Mediator Jamie Kalven, Hyde Park Herald, December 14, 2003

Point mediator responds to neighborhood criticism

To the Editor:

On Dec. 3, the Herald published a letter from the Promontory Point Community Task Force written in response to an editorial in the Nov. 26 issue. As mediator in the talks between the Task Force and the City, I would like to respond.

The Herald has, from the start, challenged the design of the mediation process. It has done so in the name of openness and transparency; it has asserted the role of the press in ensuring public accountability. These are essential values. The Herald is doing its job by keeping them visible. In this instance, however, there is an unavoidable tension between these values and the requirements of the mediation process. That, at any rate, was the considered judge ment of the parties when they agreed to hold meetings without media present and limit their contacts with the press.

The Task Force has now chosen to depart from that agreement. I am not going to respond point by point to its Dec. 3 letter to the Herald. Whatever else might be said about its substance and tone, the letter reflects how seriously Task force members take their responsibilities to the community they represent. There are, however, three points I want to clarify.

(i) The reporting process has not worked as well as I had hoped it would. I have in the past acknowledged my responsibility for not getting draft reports out to the parties for review in a timely manner. Another factor has been the slowness of the parties in returning the drafts with their revisions and comments, so that I might publicly release them. In one instance, I waited six weeks for the Task force to return the draft of a report. Final revisions of two of the three outstanding reports have now been reviewed by the parties and will be posted on the Point Working Group website.

(ii) The impression that the mediation process has disappeared from public view is due in large part to two unanticipated delays. The first occurred following the last formal meeting of the Working Group on September 16. At that meeting, the parties agreed in principal to bring third parties engineering expertise into the mediation process. What seemed at the time to be a significant breakthrough became an extended detour, when the parties were unable to agree on the precise mechanism for bringing to bear outside engineering. In a statement published in the Herald in October [foll. immed.], I described in some detail the impasse that developed. (This statement is available on the Working Group Website []. The ultimate resolution of this impasse, in my statement has several elements:

(iii) The second delay occurred in mid-November after the parties had agreed to the above sequence of meetings. Originally scheduled for the last week in October, the engineers' meeting was rescheduled for Nov. 12, due to scheduling difficulties and requests f rom the City and the Task Force for meetings with Mr. Bunzell and myself prior to the engineers meeting. On the eve of the Nov. 12 meeting, Charles Shabica, the Task Force's chief consultant on engineering matters, entered the hospital for an emergency surgery. It was agreed by the parties to postpone the meeting until Mr. Shabica's health allowed him to participate.

The engineers meeting has now been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 5. Mr. Brunzell and I will issue a report on Friday, January 9. The Working Group will met on Monday, Jan. 12 to discuss the report. Among the items on the agenda for this meeting will be the scheduling of a community meeting for the purpose of reporting back to the community on the results of the mediation process.

Jamie Kalven

Hyde Park Herald, October 8, 2003

Point mediator apologizes

As mediator of the Promontory Point Working Group, I wish to offer an apology to the Community Task Force, the Herald, and the community as a whole for the lapse in public reporting of Working Group meetings. The Task force agreed to participate in meetings closed to the press on the condition that the mediator make public progress reports after each meeting. Six meetings have taken place: three reports remain outstanding. I alone am responsible for this situation.

The explanation is simple. I agreed to undertake this assignment on short notice in the midst of other professional commitments. As the process has unfolded, the role of mediator has proved more demanding and time-consuming than I or the members of the Working Group expected. The reporting process has suffered as a result. I say this not to excuse the lapse in reporting but to explain it. As a journalist and student of the First Amendment, I appreciated the concerns voiced by the Task force. And I am in the process of addressing them. Jamie Kalven

December 10, 2003: State agency says limestone a must for Point

Hyde Park Herald, December 10, 2003. By Maurice Lee

While the city and the Community Task Force for Promontory Point engage in negotiations over competing designs for the rehabilitation of Promontory Point, a small statewide agency is holding to its position that whatever plan they agree on will have to be made of limestone.

According to Bill Wheeler, associate director and chief legal counsel of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, an agreement signed in 1994 calling for the revetment to be rebuilt from "in kind" materials remains in force. Wheeler said until one of the parties proves a need for change, he expects the other agencies to abide by their agreement.

"It's not just a matter of wanting limestone to be used—we have a written agreement whereby the parties have indicated that that's what they will do," said Wheeler. "It will be done in limestone or we will be shown why it can't be done in limestone. That's the way the agreement reads."

According to Wheeler, if the city and the Army Corps present information detailing that the use of limestone at Promontory Point would be somehow prohibitive, IHPA "would be amenable" to making an amendment to the project. But Wheeler said while the city and the Army Corps asserted last June that they studied limestone and determined its use to be not feasible, the project planners had not contacted IHPA to present evidence since then.

Wheeler said if the other parties to the 1994 agreement press forward with plans to rebuild the revetment in concrete without amending the current agreement, the IHPA would walk away from the process. "If they indicate to us that they don't want to demonstrate why they cannot do this from an engineering standpoint and they also don't want to follow the agreement, then we probably would terminate the agreement and not be involved in the project anymore," Wheeler said. "If one or more parties is not carrying out [their] duties we'd just as soon not have [the project] on our books."

If the IHPA walks away, then the city, park district and Army Corps would have to form a new memorandum of agreement with the President's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966—subsequently reopening the process to public hearings.

Meanwhile, the Task Force to Save Promontory Point has gained another prominent ally as Hyde Park's newest congressman U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-2) lent his support to the community's position on the rehabilitation. Jackson sent one letter urging Mayor Richard M. Daley to give the community's preservation plan for Promontory Point a "full endorsement," and another letter praising IHPA Deputy Historic Preservation Officer Anne Haaker for her efforts to enforce the 1994 agreement between the IHPA, the Chicago Park District, the city and the Army Corps of Engineers at the point.

"The communities of the South Side have acted strongly and passionately in advocating this preservation," Jackson stated in the letter to Daley, "and it is a position which I fully endorse."


Point group wins $5K grant

Dear Friend of Promontory Point -

We would like you to know that the Community Task Force for Promontory
Point has received another grant from the Richard H. Driehaus
Foundation. This grant is in the amount of $5000 and brings the total
given by the Foundation to almost $35,000. These grants to the
community in support its effort to save the limestone revetment have
been crucial to the development of our preservation plan. This grant
will allow the Task Force to do additional engineering studies in
preparation for an upcoming meeting between our engineer, Charles
Shabica, and the Park District. This meeting is now scheduled for
January 5th.

Fred Blum
Bruce Johnstone
Connie Spreen
Jack Spicer

Community Task Force for Promontory Point

Hyde Park Herald, December 17, 2003. By Mike Stevens

The Community Task Force for Promontory Point got $5,000 richer last week thanks to a grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. The money will pay for additional engineering consultants for the Task Force, which is in its second year battling the city's plan to replace the limestone rocks at the popular 55th Street park with concrete and steel revetments.

The Task Force won the grant less than 24 hours after they put in their request, bringing the total donations from the foundation to nearly $35,000, said Task Force member Jack Spicer. "They've been just fabulous. It allows the Task Force to do its homework and prepare for this engineer's meeting," Spicer said, referring to an upcoming meeting between a city engineer, the Task Force engineer and mediator Jamie Kalven.

The meeting, delayed now for almost three months, is intended to "hammer out a really good plan that's agreeable to the city and the Promontory Point folks," said Task force engineer Charles Shabi[c]a.

Meanwhile, as part of a monthly series on preservation, Task Force members will speak on the fight to save Promontory Point on Thursday, Dec. 28. The lunchtime discussion features Jack Spicer and architect Frank Heitzman of the Task Force, and is part of the monthly "Preservation Snapshots" series offered by Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois. The discussion starts at 12:15 p.m. at the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street. For more information, call 312-922-1742.

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