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Chicago, the city literally pulled out of the mess

In the middle of the 19th century American architects wanted to build a sewer system for a city. But when they decided this, the city was already build and full of life. The name of this city is Chicago. What can we do if we want to build a sewer system under a working city? Let's elevate it! Yes, elevate. The whole city. Each house blocks one by one.

Chicago's street level was only a few feet higher than the surface of the Michigan lake. To lead the sewage and rain to the lake they had to dig deep under the city. They found this solution way too expensive. So, they decided to elevate Chicago 4-14 feet higher.

Government of the city has set up a committee and in 1855 they created the plan to elevate level of the downtown and streets near the river. During the next 20 years the workers installed elevator screws under the buildings and lifted them a few inches every day, while other workers built the new substructure and laid sewer pipes. What's more, some buildings were carried to new locations if simple elevation was not an option.

This is the story, how the first metropolitan sewer system was build in America.

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