By the 1860s, Chicago’s water supply was inadequate for its growing population. To solve the problem, Chief Engineer Ellis S. Chesbrough looked to Lake Michigan. Near-shore lake water was too polluted to be used because of runoff from the Chicago River. This prompted an innovative solution. Chesbrough designed a water supply tunnel system running nearly two miles offshore to an intake crib. When the tunnel was completed in 1867, lake water was pumped back to shore through a pumping station. Because the original pumps produced pressure surges and pulsation in the water, a standpipe system was added in 1869.
William Boyington designed both the pumping works building on the opposite side of Michigan Avenue (then Pine Street) and the Water Tower that houses the standpipe. Both buildings were built with distinctive yellow Joliet limestone, a very popular building material in the city at the time. Built in Boyington’s signature castellated Gothic Revival style, the buildings look like something out of a fairy tale.
This copy was provided by The Chicago Architecture Foundation. The site is well worth a visit.
A HOME FOR POETRY
The first space in Chicago dedicated solely to the art of poetry, the Poetry Foundation building realizes Harriet Monroe’s dream, set out in her very first editorial, that the magazine would help poets pursue their art, increase public interest in poetry, and raise poetry’s profile in our culture. It also is Poetry’s first permanent home in its 100-year history. Designed by the Chicago firm John Ronan Architects, the building helps the Foundation to carry out its mission: to discover and celebrate the best poetry and place it before the largest possible audience. This text taken from Poetry Foundation Website
More great photos and information.
People from throughout the Midwest and beyond flock to Lake Michigan in the warm summer months. Although not quite as comfortable, exploring Lake Michigan during the winter is much more dramatic. Normally ice starts to cover the lake in January and begins its big thaw in March. The ice on the lake is getting a head start this year, which doesn’t mean much. Or it could mean it’s going to be the coldest damn winter in the history of Chicago. Near the lower third of my photograph you’ll see a flock of white birds. I have no idea what those are. For some mind-twisting photographs of ice on Lake Michigan, check out the work of photographer, Tom Gill.
The Trump Tower Chicago makes great use of its available space while creating another icon in the city’s skyline. Also important, its setbacks pay homage to the Art Deco-era skyscrapers that made Chicago a living architectural museum. And it manages to reach for the stars without stepping on the feet of other buildings in the area. To its neighbors, it appears as an equal. That’s because the first setback is at the same height as the cornice on the Wrigley Building, the second is the same height as Marina City, and the third is at the top of the former IBM Building across the street. Copy provided by Chicago Architecture.
Water cribs “collect water from close to the bottom of a lake to supply a pumping station onshore.” They’re called “cribs” not because they’re swank MTV-style homes, but rather because, like a baby’s crib, they surround and protect the intake shaft from any outside pollution or contamination. The water is collected and then transported via pipes 200 feet below the lake’s surface to pumping stations (like the Chicago Avenue pumping station) at purification plants at the shores of the lake, and from there the water continues on its fabulous journey which ends when you fill up your Brita pitcher at your kitchen sink. Copy provided by the Chicagoist.