As promised, I have some images of the genuinely attractive, eminently acceptable, 20-plus-million dollar Compromise Plan that the SAVE THE POINT group scuttled on behalf of all Hyde Parkers.
The Master Plan (aerial view) appears above. If you want to see details, you can click on it to open it in a bigger window.
Some of the compromises to look for in the plan:
1) It reuses all of the existing limestone, with the two top steps of the revetment made of limestone blocks
2) It restores the Caldwell landscaping
3) It provides sanctioned water access (which also means it will be staffed with lifeguards)
4) It reduces or removes the objectionable features of the new revetment between 51st and 54th:
(a) The scale of the revement is smaller
(b) The steps down to the promenade are shallower
(c) The promenade is narrower (not a "landing strip")
(d) The berm of earth (flood control) in the lawn behind the revetment is gone
(e) Tumbled fragments of limestone blocks cover the steel supports from view
5) There are two 300-foot swimming sites, one on the north and one on the south
6) The step stones into the water are limestone blocks, mimicking the happy accident of nature that allowed swimming at the Point in the first place
The drawing below shows the north side swimming access site. Note that the structural core of the revetment (including the bottom two steps) is concrete and steel, and the top two steps are limestone blocks. The two concrete steps have textured vertical faces. The promenade is concrete with textured concrete near the water's edge:
Except at swimming access sites (where there are limestone blocks), large limestone fragments would shield the steel in the water from view:
This is what the textured concrete looks like:
This is what the tumbled limestone fragments look like:
This is an illustration of the south side. Note the City bothered to show a lifeguard; a sign of goodwill, methinks.
And here's the drawing of the south side, in a non-swimming section:
The transition to the 57th Street beach shows ways that the contractors have used limestone decoratively, as a way to integrate the two materials in preparation for Point repair:
And overall, the workmanship is pretty good:
I'm also not sure what's happening with the funding. I know that the federal funds designated for the Point in 2004 were diverted to other areas. Meanwhile everyone waits for Barack Obama to convene a not-yet-existent committee using non-existent funds to "study" a project that has been studied to its demise.
Barack, you're a good person and a beloved neighbor, but it's time to call someone and say you're too busy to follow through with this. You've got a lot on your plate. We understand.
The Department of the Environment Shoreline Protection Project site has this short statement regarding the Point:
"Due to unresolved issues relating to the proposed construction materials, the 54th to 56th Street segment project is currently on hold. The 56th to 57th Street revetment was completed in July 2005."