American Experience

Elevating the City

Clip: Season 15 | 1m 33s

In response to cholera and dysentery epidemics, the Chicago Board of Sewage Commissioners selected Ellis Sylvester Chesbrough to solve Chicago’s public health crisis. Chesbrough’s planned system relied on gravity flow, but downtown streets were too low to drain into the river. New sewers raised the city's streets as much as 10 feet. The challenge then was to raise the buildings.

Aired: 01/13/03

Rating: NR

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