Since the earliest days of Northerly Island and Meigs
Field, there has been a close association between earth, water, and sky.
This historical relationship is reflected best in the elements of the
northeastern perimeter of the peninsula, where the Adler Planetarium, 12th
Street Beach (one of the oldest in Chicago), and the northern end of runway
36, are all in close proximity to each other.
The Bessie Coleman Park will enhance and build upon this
interrelationship by converting much of the existing east side aircraft
parking ramp into public space providing access to the waterfront, and
features to enhance the visitor experience. This portion of the existing
revetment is slated for replacement by the Army Corps of Engineers and
Chicago Park District. This work is currently planned to be paid for by the
Chicago Park District’s taxpayers, at a cost of $6 million. Instead, this
proposal allows for this funding to come from federal airport improvement
funds, instead. As part of this work, a new feature, Lookout Point, will be
Lookout Point will combine a Lakeside Overlook esplanade
with natural features, reached via a disabled-accessible Nature Walk. The
esplanade will provide boating tie-ups and ladders, to allow access from the
lake, and will incorporate lookout turrets with views of the lake, the
airport, and the city skyline. It will also incorporate picnic facilities
and climbing rocks.
The shoreline of Lookout Point will be sculpted to allow
natural lake wave action to create fanciful natural ice sculptures during
winter. It will also incorporate: