POTENTIAL WIN: Outpouring of Letters and Aldermanic Support Builds Momentum for Effort to Landmark Promontory Point

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“Many thanks to all who wrote letters of support for the recommendation of Promontory Point for Chicago landmarking. We had a tremendous outpouring of support from all over the City. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks posted on its website the written public comments they received, and, wow, there are 90 pages of comments submitted in favor of landmarking the Point!!  Read them here–they start on page 33. 

“In September 2017, the National Register nomination of Promontory Point came before the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and passed unanimously before it went to Springfield and finally Washington DC for final approval and listing on January 19, 2018.

“The Point, however, was never approved as a Chicago Landmark so Preservation Chicago and the Conservancy are recommending Chicago landmarking of the Point too. .(Promontory Point Blog Post)

“Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) voiced support for city landmarking of Promontory Point at her monthly ward meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

“While the Point was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018, landmark status confers additional legal protections against alterations or demolitions, something residents worry about as the Army Corps of Engineers gears up to restart work on the area. (Belanger, Hyde Park Herald, 9/29/21)

“The Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for restoration and repair of Promontory Point, is set to begin a shoreline study of the area this October. At the same time, Hyde Park residents have relaunched their “Save the Point” campaign, started in the 1990s during an acrimonious planning process for shoreline work in the area that would have seen much of the limestone revetment replaced with concrete.

“The Point, constructed in the early part of the 20th century, has a landscape design by architect Albert Caldwell, while Emanuel V. Buchsbaum came up with the plan for the field house and pavilion. The limestone revetments were completed in 1938 as part of a Works Progress Administration project along the lakefront.

“At Wednesday’s meeting, nonprofit Preservation Chicago presented their landmark submission to the Program Committee. (The Point was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.)

“Mary Lu Seidel, director of community engagement at Preservation Chicago, said that the start of the Army Corps planning process could ‘lead to permanent and debilitating changes to this landscape.’

“‘There’s a great community concern that despite previous memorandums of agreement committing to the retention of these distinguished features, especially the limestone revetment, we need permanent protections in place to honor and protect.’

“‘Where else is there such a strong sense community cultivated by only a public space? Nowhere,’ read one representative letter. ‘It doesn’t exist anywhere else, and if the city destroys the Point, they destroy some of this history and community with it.'” (Belanger, Hyde Park Herald, 9/22/21)

Read the full story at Hyde Park Herald

Promontory Point nominated for landmark status, Christian Belanger, Hyde Park Herald, 9/22/21

Hairston voices support for Point landmarking at ward meeting, Christian Belanger, Hyde Park Herald, 9/29/21

Promontory Point Conservancy Website

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