October 13, 2014

Crib & Pumping Station

Lake View's 
Water Works & The Crib 
At one time Township/City built & operated a crib and pumping station for it's citizens
The Crib
Early settlers in both in Chicago and the north townships of Jefferson and Lake View obtained their drinking water from the Chicago River. Having no infrastructure yet in place, the early settlers simply carried water home in buckets or had water delivered by private vendors. However, the lack of an adequate sewer system at the time led to increased and unchecked pollution of the area's water supplies. Outbreaks of cholera began a problem. Both Township of Lake View and the City of Chicago administrators created a better plan. Both created off shore facilities to pump water from the lake to the mainland as well as reversing the flow of the Chicago River. 
the guts of the crib - Library of Congress
These off shore facilities were connected by a tunnel system to the mainland to be delivered by a pumping station. One of these pumping stations was located in Lake View Township on the corner of Clarendon and Montrose avenues. According to a 1900 annual report by the Chicago Public Works Department 44 million gallons for lake water traveled the pumping station within a 24 hour time period.
Maintaining the new water treatment facilities became to expensive for the citizens of the township and after the annexation of Lake View and Jefferson Townships in 1889 the City of Chicago became stewards of both the pumping station(s) and the intake crib but without apparent input for the new Chicago aldermen of the area.
Problems with the Supply of Water

and in 1892
 page 2
This University of Chicago map shows 
the Lake View Crib as of 1876
The tunnel from the Crib to the pumping station was completed in 1891. The Crib was decommissioned in 1924
This 1912 map from the UC Collection shows the Lake View Crib with its replacement to be later named Wilson Avenue Crib that still in use for emergency water supply
Lake View Crib was demolished in 1924 and replaced by now defunct Wilson Avenue Crib that was in place by 1917
One of those intake stations was the Lake View Water Intake Crib's tunnel that was two miles long, lined with brick, and built 60 feet below the lake. The Lake View Crib feed water to the pumping station at Montrose Avenue east of Clarendon much like the Chicago’s main crib and pumping station commonly known as the Chicago Water Tower.
a 1904 photo - Art Institute of Chicago
a 1887 Sanborn Fire Map of the location
Lake View's first pumping station was authorized for construction by the township in 1875. The second station was constructed just south of the original by 1915 when the area was then referred to as the District of Lake View. Both stations were located on Clarendon & Montrose Avenues
The station supplied a large portion of Chicago's water needs throughout the first half of the 20th century. The equipment at the second site included three Nordberg pumping engines & a Bethlehem Steel Company pumping engine, all with a capacity of pumping 25 million gallons per dayThe second & last station, abandon for decades, was demolished in 1979.  
The first Lake View Township Water Works Pumping Station operational 1876-1913 and then replaced 
by a more modern facility 
the replacement diagram above
photos below from the Library of Congress
A temporary building was constructed to streamline the process from one building to another
the temporary centrifuge
A temporary station needed to be built so continue the water supply to the residents of Lake View
one building is razed while the building rises
The second pumping station 1913-1959
View of Montrose Avenue 
after the pipe vault was buried
The Interior of the Second Building

the main value panel 
Lawrence Avenue Beach 
with pumping station chimney in background - unknown date 
Ravenswood-Lake View Collection
photos - Friends of Cuneo-Facebook
view west on Montrose Avenue
Clarendon at Irving Park Road 1960ish 
with a view of the plants chimney 
in the distance east of the hospital 
The abandoned pumping station - 1970's
  Articles about the Water Works
1890 The New Tunnel
More Issues 1896
 page 2
Plans for the old station as of 1971
and the former Cuneo Hospital 
This 1923 Sanborn Fire Map shows not only pumping station but also the Clarendon Public Bathing Beach facility along the Clarendon Avenue - the post popular beach location on the north-side at the time.
View and read about the shoreline of Lake Michigan before the existence of roads along the lakefront from my sister site  LakeView Historical-Facebook, called
Future Plans for the Area 
2012  The guidelines for development for the old Maryville Academy complex have been of great concern for the neighborhood associations of the area.
the original planned development
Planned Development 2013

Post Notes 
View more photos of the Lake View Pumping Station via The Library of Congress. Read about the existing Cribs in Chicago from this 2000 article and this article.

Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!

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