The Chicago Park District plan to build out the shoreline approximately 70 feet between 45th and 51st St has been revised so as not to encroach upon the beloved Morgan Shoal; an ancient dolomite limestone formation that represents the last bit of natural shoreline geography in the area. Community opposition to the original plan – one which would have disturbed and destroyed a portion of the shoal – was loud and proud. Thankfully, the CPD listened to the community, and scaled back their plan so as to avoid the shoal, thus preserving a rock formation believed to be three million years old. Also undisturbed would be the shipwreck ruins of the Silver Spray, whose massive boiler sits visible in eight feet of water, about 100 yards off Pebbly Beach (49th St). The entire shoal attracts wildlife of all types, and can be an unexpectedly entertaining snorkelling destination under the right conditions.
The new concept calls for much of the shoreline to be lined with granite or limestone blocks similar to the recent work at Montrose Harbor. At Pebbly Beach, the shore would sink more gradually into the water, allowing the shoal's stones to continue tumbling in to form the beach. Also planned is additional bike and jogger paths, a comfort station, and an environmental sound installation that can be best described as a wave-powered pipe organ (! - bring it on - !) The project is slated for completion within five years. The final details of the plan will be released to the community in April '15.