HAIRSTON FAIL #1:
Early in her tenure, Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston lost control of negotiations over the repair of a crucial and decaying stretch of lakefront, and ultimately lost $24 million in federal funding to fix it. Her lack of leadership led to the eventual rejection of the Compromise Plan of 2003 -- the best chance for a solution that met the demands of modern engineering and reasonable community input. Hairston was intimidated by a vocal group of activists and the plan was dropped in 2005.
Since then, funding has evaporated.
The lake shore revetment that surrounds what Hyde Parkers affectionately refer to as "The Point" is rotting. Every winter it is hammered by ferocious waves so that its once level and tiered limestone blocks (ca. 1920s-1930s) sink in a ragged jumble even further into Lake Michigan, and the steel and timber crib that originally held them all together juts out ever more visibly. The soil of Promontory Point itself is slowly eroding around the edges.
This is not how Promontory Point was intended to be. It may look nice from a distance and in fuzzy watercolor paintings, but it is incontrovertibly and dangerously dilapidated. It must be rebuilt. Its current condition is a danger to public safety, a disgrace to the Chicago Park District, and the fact that it was not fixed in the early 2000's is the most conspicuous HAIRSTON FAIL.