Chicago Sewers Collection
The sewer systems and passageways that lie beneath our feet are critical to the health and well being of the city. Offering a rare look at the “underbelly” of Chicago, this collection of historical images features construction photographs of sewers and tunnels.
In 1855, Boston engineer Ellis S. Chesbrough was invited to Chicago to design the first comprehensive system of underground sewers in the United States. His work lifted the city to make room for the new sewers which became the most extensive in the world. In the more than 150 years since Chicago’s Department of Water Management continues to service and maintain this underground system.
More CPL Resources
- Chicago Sewers Collection Finding Aid
- The complete list of photographs, glass plate slides and documents, rich with geographic and technical details.