Proposed Lakefront Revetment
This set consists of the photos and an email I received from Robert Clark of the Lakeview Revetment Task Force. Because the Task Force does not have a website, I am posting them here.

Yesterday, in response to the generous invitation from the Corps of Engineers, I got out my local maps and located the least-known exit from Lake Shore Drive - [Oakwood Boulevard], at 40th street, the first exit south of 31st street. I crossed over the drive, parked in the little lot, and spied in the distance to the south, in the midst of a vast stetch of parched grass, with backdrop of a huge crane from the politically connected Walsh Construction Co., the "model" of concrete steps supposedly treated to resemble limestone which the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency required the Corps to offer up for public examination.
One's reward for reaching this inconvenient location, so far from the areas where the steps would actually be built, is a close-up view of what the Corps considers to be an approximation of the historic limestone revetment. You can judge for yourself from the photos - or better still from an actual on-site visit - but my personal reaction was one of amazement that such second-rate shoddy work could be passed off seriously as meeting IHPA or any other standards. Did the Corps hire this out to some clout-heavy contractors whose three-year old children or drunken brother-in-law staggered against wet concrete on the step faces? A Barbary ape would not mistake these smudges of surface for limestone - not to mention that even the cheap face-work is a small area embedded in the most mindless mass of ugly concrete.
In addition to photos of the model, I have enclosed photos of some real limestone rocks(kept behind fences lest the public get too aroused by the sight of something real) as well as of the barren stretch of completed revetment that now dehumanizes this stretch of the lakefront.
PLEASE go see this pathetically inadequate response to our demands for a restored historic limestone revetment and write a response, however brief, to the Corps at the address given below. These public comments are legally signficant and must be taken into account; but note that they MUST BE RECEIVED BY JULY 26.
As I note below, it should go without saying that we DEMAND public hearings before anything like this faux limestone is inflicted in the remaining stretch of limestone revetment north of Diversey harbor.


Bennett Lawson from Tom Tunney's office faxed me the following document from the Dept. of the Army (Corps of Engineers). Because I do not have a scanner and they failed to make this available in emailable format (nor did they provide even a fax number for submission of comments), I am obliged to copy it:

(An accompanying notes says that the notice "is provided in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act and 36 CFR 800.)


The Chicago District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requests comments regarding concrete revetments proposed for the Chicago Shoreline project (Illinois Shoreline Erosion Interim III). The new design is intended to re-create the appearance of limestone blocks originally placed along the Chicago lakefront, and was developed in consultation with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA). It is anticipated that the new design will be used along three reaches of the lakefront: Belmont to Diversey (south segment); Montrose to Irving Park, and Fullerton (Theater on the Lake).

A concrete test panel has been erected on the lakefront near 40th Street and Lake Shore Drive in Burnham Park (lakeward of the bike trail, about 1000 feet south of the Oakwood Avenue overpass). Interested parties are urged to view the test panel and comment on the new design.

Comments should be submitted no later than 26 July 2006 and may be sent to Keith Ryder, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 111 North Canal Street, Suite 600, Chicago, Illinois 60606. Questions should be directed to Mr. Ryder at 312/846-5587.

(Signed) Gary E. Johnston
Colonel, U.S. Army
District Commander

Supposedly this notice must appear in newspapers: keep your eyes open. Note that there is no reference to a promised public hearing, which may be up to the Park District to arrange. Also, of course. other crucial issues are not mentioned: rocks in front of sheet pile (Col. Johnston on one occasion claimed placement of such rocks just on Belmont south reach would cost $5 million!), "berms" giving access to water, path behind revetment (now to be abandoned according to the Park District because the very design of the new revetment makes it impossible to maintain), re-use of saved limestone, concerns re. displacement of lead deposits in creation of the "encapsulation" structure planned just north of Diversey Harbor, etc.

Bob Clarke, Chairman
Lake View Revetment Task Force
Bob Clarke
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