THREATENED: Don’t Destroy Promontory Point!

“For over 20 years, the South Side community has worked to save Promontory Point’s limestone revetment from being demolished and replaced with concrete.

“In 2002, the Chicago Park District (CPD) and the City (CDOT) put forward a ‘concrete/compromise’ design that would have demolished the limestone revetment, replaced it with concrete, leaving only an ornamental row of stones at the top and severely restricted access to the water. The community rejected this plan.

“In 2004, as Save the Point, the community funded its own engineering design study that demonstrated the historic limestone revetment could be restored. In fact, it was (a) cheaper than demolition and concrete, (b) studier and more durable than the concrete on the rest of the City lakefront, and (c) much more accessible and inclusive

“The US Army Corps of Engineers Preservation Center weighed in, agreeing with the community-funded engineering report that the limestone could be restored and at less or the same cost as demolition and concrete.

“In 2006, then-Senator Obama stepped in and started a new design process that would ensure restoration of the Point with (a) maximum historic limestone, (b) minimum concrete, and (c) safe and generous access, including ADA compliance, for all to both the revetment and the water

“This process was stalled out by the City even though Promontory Point Conservancy continued to meet and talk regularly with governmental agencies and elected officials.

“In 2017, Promontory Point was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its distinctive and unique limestone revetment and people’s decades of enjoyment there. This sets Federal guidelines that protect the limestone revetment from demolition.

“CPD and CDOT are using the rising lake levels and storm erosion in 2017-2019 to create a false emergency at Promontory Point. The erosion at the Point does not affect Lake Shore Drive or endanger private property or human life.

“One year ago, the CDP and CDOT began preliminary engineering studies, planning and funding requests to replace the limestone revetment with concrete — without consulting the community, other governmental agencies or elected officials, and in violation of the original Federal 1993 operating agreement and the National Register standards.

“Right now, we know:
• the historic limestone revetment can be restored
• community participation leads to good results for all
• the 2006 Obama process needs jumpstarting and will get us where we want to go

“CDP & CDOT: Don’t restart the clock! Let’s pick up right where we left off!

“Promontory Point Conservancy completely supports the Morgan Shoal Framework Plan and is excited that CPD is moving ahead constructing this design. It was an excellent, award-winning community-based design process, and that’s exactly what we want for Promontory Point and its historic limestone revetment too!”

Learn more and get involved at the Promontory Point Conservancy at


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