October 13, 2014

The Crib & Pumping Station

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 in 1891
A Race around the Crib in 1891

Crib and Tunnel Maintenance 1892
The Water Works in 1896
map -  New York Public Library Digital Collections
The Tunnel
The tunnel from the Crib to the pumping station was completed in 1891. The Crib was decommissioned in 1924
text - Dept of Chicago Public Works 1891
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 ...
This University of Chicago map shows 
This University of Chicago map shows 
1924 demolition photo below
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 AvenuesThe 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. 
 a 1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

The first Lake View Township Water Works Pumping Station operational 1876-1913 and then replaced 
by a more modern facility 
the replacement diagram above
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
Location Illustrations of the Pumping Station
image 1
 image 2
  image 3
  image 4
The Interior of the Second Building

the main value panel 
Lawrence Avenue Beach 
with pumping station chimney in background - unknown date 
Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
photos - Friends of Cuneo-Facebook
view west on Montrose Avenue east of hospital
an aerial view of the smoke stack to the right of the photo
Clarendon at Irving Park Road 1960ish 
with a view of the plants chimney 
in the distance east of the hospital 
The abandoned pumping station view west 1970's
  Articles about the Water Works & 
 The New Tunnel in 1890
More Issues 1896
 page 2
Plans for the old station in 1971
a 1928 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of the area
 a zoomed view below
This 1928 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.
Future Plans of the Area
the area view of the site from Google Earth
The general scope of the planned development was a major concern to neighborhood associations & block clubs that had traffic concerns due to this massive project like this one. 
the area with inserts of the past and future
The New 'Lake View Station'
this development named after the original Water Works will be located across the street on the west side of Clarendon
the original planned development above
the last rendition below

Planned Development 2013
 via the 46th Chicago Ward office
A mid 2018 view from Google Maps
the original Lake View Water Works was located 
at the tennis courts
A Water Works Summary
 page 2
  page 3
Post Notes:
a Illustration of a Water Work Site
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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