25 September, 2014
Lifting Chicago: Introducing How We Get To Next :: How We Get To Next
Lifting Chicago: Introducing How We Get To Next :: How We Get To Next: Aided by the young George Pullman, who would later make a fortune building railway cars, Chesbrough launched one of the most ambitious engineering projects of the 19th century. Building by building Chicago was lifted by an army of men with jackscrews. As the jackscrews raised the buildings inch by inch, workmen would dig holes under the building foundations and install thick timbers to support them, while masons scrambled to build a new footing under the structure. Sewer lines were inserted beneath buildings with main lines running down the center of streets, which were then buried in landfill that had been dredged out of the Chicago River, raising the entire city almost ten feet on average. Amazingly, life went on largely undisturbed as Chesbrough’s team raised the city’s buildings.