WBEZ | boats http://www.wbez.org/tags/boats Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Reporter's Notebook: What happens inside Chicago's river bridgehouses http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/reporters-notebook-what-happens-inside-chicagos-river-bridgehouses-108772 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/bridge tender view flickr tom gill.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Curious Citizen Jim Brady from West Suburban River Forest says he&#39;s always found bridge houses on Chicago&#39;s rivers fascinating, not just to look at but also to let his imagine run wild as to what goes on inside. So naturally he asked us, &quot;Who stays in guard houses along Chicago rivers, and what do they do all day?&quot;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ&#39;s Chris Bentley jumped at the chance to report this story. He&#39;s also an architecture buff and has long appreciated the variation in bridgehouse design. Chris and Jim are pairing up to find answers and you can follow their adventures via this reporter&#39;s notebook below. If you are a bridgetender, you know one, or you have stories about the goings-on inside those mysterious structures, please comment below! We&#39;d love to get in touch.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="750" src="http://embed.verite.co/timeline/?source=0AgYZnhF-8PafdGduVjBNZWpZSGJqOWRzdXNDdlJ5RUE&amp;font=PTSerif-PTSans&amp;maptype=toner&amp;lang=en&amp;hash_bookmark=true&amp;width=620&amp;height=750" width="620"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/about-curious-city-98756">Curious City</a>&nbsp;is a news-gathering experiment designed to satisfy the public&#39;s curiosity. People like you&nbsp;<a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/ask">submit questions</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/ask">vote&nbsp;</a>for their favorites, and WBEZ reports out the winning questions in real time on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/curiouscityproject">Facebook</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/#!/WBEZCuriousCity">Twitter&nbsp;</a>and the reporter&#39;s notebook above.</p></p> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 08:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/reporters-notebook-what-happens-inside-chicagos-river-bridgehouses-108772 The battle over ballast waters http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-11/battle-over-ballast-waters-88934 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-22/St. Lawrence Flickr Neil Smith.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Let’s say you’re the captain of a ship tied up at one of dozens of ports along the St. Lawrence Seaway or the Great Lakes.&nbsp; You’re taking on a cargo of iron ore or corn or salt.&nbsp; As you fill your hold, you keep your ship level by pumping water out of your ballast tanks.&nbsp;The trouble is that all of that ballast water could have been collected just about anywhere on the planet.&nbsp;</p><p>James Tierney is assistant commissioner for water quality for New York state’s Conservation Department and an expert on ballast water pollution, he says, &nbsp;“Ballast water may be sucked out of a port in the Black Sea, or Singapore, or Amsterdam.&nbsp; And then it’s brought over and it’s released.&nbsp; So ballast water has been a very effective mechanism to bring in all sorts of invasive species.”</p><p>Tierney says tiny creatures literally hide in the scum and saltwater stored inside these ships. Once they're dumped here in the Seaway they are free to spread.&nbsp; And that’s exactly what they’ve done, turning up in waterways from Quebec in the east to Minnesota in the west.&nbsp;</p><p>Jennifer Caddick heads a green group called Save the River.&nbsp; On a brilliant summer day she takes me to a narrow stretch of the St. Lawrence Seaway near Clayton New York, not far from Lake Ontario. “Things like the zebra mussel, round goby, spiny waterfleas, quagga mussels, all of those things have come in through ship ballast tanks,” she says.</p><p>It looks like a healthy stretch of river.&nbsp; But Caddick says just two of those alien invaders – the zebra mussel and the quagga mussel – have spread so rapidly and grown so densely that they are altering the entire food chain of the Great Lakes.&nbsp; They're changing the chemistry in the water, and triggering nasty algae blooms. “We’re seeing massive outbreaks of this cladophora algae, which along with it harbors bacteria.&nbsp; And when cladophora algae dies and washes up on shore, it smells like sewage,” she says.</p><p>In the Great Lakes, invasive species have climbed to the top of the list of environmental threats, right up there with climate change. Jeff Alexander – an environmental activist and writer based in Ann Arbor Michigan – believes the opening of the Seaway triggered a kind of slow-moving ecological disaster, far more devastating than the Gulf oil spill. “ You know an oil spill can be cleaned up to some extent, while invasive species, the problem just continues to grow and spread,” he says.</p><p>Alexander published a book last year called "Pandora’s Locks."&nbsp; He argues that invasive organisms sneaking in through the Seaway could leave the Great Lakes unrecognizable, shredding the natural network of plants and animals that evolved over thousands of years. “The truth is that nobody knows how this story is going to play out.&nbsp; The scientists can’t do research fast enough to keep up with the changes.&nbsp; And no one can tell you what the lakes will look like in 5, 10 or 25 years,” says Alexander.</p><p>That danger has sparked an ugly international feud over just what kind of ballast water regulations are needed to keep new invaders out.&nbsp;Last year, New York state approved strict new regulations that could eventually force each cargo ship entering the Seaway to have its own miniature waste water treatment plant right on board.&nbsp;</p><p>James Tierney with New York’s Conservation Department says that’s the only way to be sure nothing nasty gets through, “You have to put equipment on your ship that kills animals, bacteria, viruses, crustaceans that might be carried in ballast water.”</p><p>&nbsp;New York’s regulation sets a standard for clean ballast water a hundred times more restrictive than current international rules – a fact that thrills environmentalists. The state planned to put the rules into effect next year, but under intense pressure Tierney delayed the deadline for compliance to August of 2013.</p><p>Canadian officials want the stricter standards scrapped entirely, arguing that the cost of buying and installing new equipment is too high.&nbsp; Last year, Canada’s government asked the US State Department to intervene, arguing that New York’s standards&nbsp;could “have the effect of shutting down access to the St. Lawrence Seaway."</p><p>Speaking in Montreal last month, Canadian environment minister Peter Kent warned that states and provinces shouldn't get too far in front of international standards.&nbsp; “We just have to make sure that as time goes on we have to stay closely aligned so that we’re in step and complimentary,” he said.</p><p>Canadians are angry, in part, because much of the Seaway lies in their territory and links their ports.&nbsp;&nbsp;But even ships moving between Canadian harbors that pass through New York waters would have to meet the new standards. Bob Dalley runs the Canadian port in Prescott, Ontario.&nbsp;&nbsp;He says none of the ships that dock here could comply, “That would be a huge issue for all vessels coming in and using the St. Lawrence.&nbsp;&nbsp;But yeah, that would definitely have a impact.”</p><p>Some US officials agree that New York state has gone too far.&nbsp;&nbsp;Collister Johnson heads the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the agency that operates the US portion of the shipping route and says, “There is no other jurisdiction in the world.&nbsp; I’m talking not about states and provinces, but countries…that is proposing a set of ballast water regulations like the state of New York.”</p><p>Johnson says the current rules, introduced three years ago, are adequate.&nbsp;&nbsp;Those require ships to dump any water picked up in foreign ports while on the high seas.&nbsp;&nbsp;Vessels take on cleaner saltwater before entering North American harbors.&nbsp; If the Seaway is held to a higher standard, Johnson says, the cost of new equipment and technology will force shipping companies to take their cargoes to other ports on the East Coast, “ It is a great concern to the Seaway because it would shut down the Seaway.&nbsp; And it’s a great concern to Canada because it is impacting their sovereignty.”</p><p>The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard plan to propose their own updated ballast water rules this November.&nbsp;&nbsp;Lisa Jackson, who heads the EPA, says some kind of new accord is needed to end the confusion, “Right now we sort of have the worst of all worlds.&nbsp;&nbsp;We have individual states doing standards.&nbsp; We have shippers who I guess in some reality could have to meet the most stringent.&nbsp; But that situation is evolving.”</p><p>All sides say New York state will face enormous pressure to change its regulations to match the Federal standards -- even if they're less stringent. As negotiations and backroom talks continue, scientists say new invasive plants and animals are still arriving in the Great Lakes every year, many of them shipped in through the Seaway.</p></p> Mon, 11 Jul 2011 14:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-11/battle-over-ballast-waters-88934 Coastal towns hope Great Lakes history is a beacon for tourists http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-08/coastal-towns-hope-great-lakes-history-beacon-tourists-88856 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/frontandcenter/photo/2011-07-08/88856/HERITAGE-photo Manistee Light 7-7-11-PAYETTE.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For more than a half-century tourism has been big business around the Great Lakes. For many small towns in the north, the entire economy can depend on visitors coming for two months out of the year. Few places have tried to attract tourists by showing them the history of the lakes, a history that is not widely known. Some think it could be a huge draw, especially as the baby boomers move into retirement.</p><p>One town in the region that does use maritime history to market itself is Manistee, Michigan, which calls itself the Victorian Port City. In 1882, a fire in Manistee claimed part of one block downtown. Seven buildings in a row went up soon after. They’ve all been restored in the original Victorian style.“You get an exact image here of what you would have seen in 1890,” said Steve Harold, a historian with the Manistee County Historical Museum.</p><p>Promoting history is unusual in northern Michigan. Most coastal towns around here promote the blue water of Lake Michigan and the beaches and boats that go with it. Manistee has a nice beach too, but the city has also put its heritage to good use. In early December every year Manistee hosts the Victorian Sleighbell Parade, so it’s one of the few communities in the north to have a major festival in the winter. The port is also a regular stop for cruise ships on the Great Lakes. Steve Harold says the historic character of the downtown adds flavor to what most tourists like to do, shop.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; } div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted #aa211d; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-style: dotted; border-top-color: #aa211d; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; } ul { margin-left: 15px; } li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-repeat-x: no-repeat; background-repeat-y: no-repeat; background-position: 0 5px; background-position-x: 0px; background-position-y: 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-28/FNC-inset-promo.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 50px;" title=""></a><ul><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/about-front-and-center-%E2%80%93-depth-reporting-great-lakes-87655">About Front and Center</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-05/big-ship-diary-88726">Big ship diary: nine days on a freighter </a></strong></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-04/dredging-shipping-industry-declares-state-emergency-88579"><strong>Dredging: Great Lakes shipping emergency</strong></a></li></ul><p><strong>Listen to maritime</strong> <strong>songs from Lee Murdock</strong><br> Hooray for a Race Down the Lakes<br> <audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483550-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-08/88856/Horray.mp3">&nbsp;</audio><br> Perry's Victory on Lake Erie<br> <audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483550-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-08/88856/Perry's.mp3">&nbsp;</audio><br> &nbsp;</p></div></div><p>Travelers spent more than 17 billion dollars in Michigan last year, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. National surveys show visitors increasingly want some kind of cultural experience that is unique to the places they travel. &nbsp;That’s why some people think the maritime history of the Great Lakes should be promoted more than it is.</p><p>But that history has long been neglected. Lee Murdock is a folk singer who lives west of Chicago. He’s been singing ballads and sailor songs about the lakes for 25 years. Murdock says it makes sense that people in the 20<sup>th</sup> century forgot about the lakes since they were using them like a sewer.</p><p>“And the lakes got dirtier and dirtier and dirtier,” said Murdock. “That’s when cities like Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit… and Buffalo, they kind of turned their back on the Great Lakes.”</p><p>Murdock says when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire it not only reminded people that the lakes were dirty, but that they were there. He thinks interest in maritime history has followed the environmental issues and he expects baby boomers to become more interested in the past as they grow older.</p><p>Bill Anderson agrees, and sees an opportunity. “We’ve never had an age cohort in the history of the United States with so much education and so much disposable income,” said the historian from Ludington Michigan.</p><p>Anderson was the head of Michigan’s now defunct Department of History, Arts and Libraries. These days he’s helping his hometown cater to those boomers. Ludington is one of those Lake Michigan towns that has mainly relied on the beach to attract visitors. &nbsp;But now city leaders are looking more closely at what else they have.</p><p>“One of the areas of strength for us is that we’ve always been a maritime community,” says Anderson.</p><p>The last coal-fired car ferry still operating in the Great Lakes has its home in Ludington.&nbsp; Other attractions here include a vintage baseball team, The Ludington Mariners, and a waterfront sculpture park featuring life-size bronze pieces that evoke the past. Anderson is involved in a study to inventory all the assets and show the business community that history and other cultural attractions are worth promoting.</p><p>Drawing in visitors is a challenge, though, even for the best maritime museums and exhibits. Chris Gilchrist, the executive director of the Great Lakes Historical Society in Vermillion, Ohio, says most historic attractions around the Great Lakes are not destinations.</p><p>“Most of your visitors come to the community for some other reason and say, ‘Oh, they’ve got a museum.’”</p><p>Maritime exhibits can be expensive. Ships and lighthouses especially are very expensive to restore and maintain. Government and foundation grants that typically help with such projects are harder to come by these days. Manistee just took ownership of its lighthouse and plans to refurbish it. Local historian Steve Harold figures it will cost $150,000 just for a proper coat of paint on the outside. He’s not worried about raising the money though because the light is Manistee’s icon.</p><p>“It’s on city stationary,” says Harold. “It’s on everything that gets published.”</p><p>Once it’s open, Manistee will have a lighthouse and two historic ships for visitors, in addition to the local museum. That will put the city in a good position if there is a renaissance Great Lakes maritime history and the tourism business favors towns that can satisfy travelers curious about the old days on the inland seas.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 08 Jul 2011 10:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-08/coastal-towns-hope-great-lakes-history-beacon-tourists-88856 The first link: How a canal spanned a continent and built Chicago http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-06-30/first-link-how-canal-spanned-continent-and-built-chicago-88598 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/frontandcenter/photo/2011-06-30/88598/LaSalle boat.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Back in 1900, engineers famously reversed the Chicago River, linking the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River. Almost everybody knows that. What you may not know is that Chicago actually first reversed the river 30 years earlier, diverting the water from the Lake to a canal. That first link between America’s two great waterways left an enduring mark on Chicago, and the country.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">WBEZ’s Gabriel Spitzer has a profile of the canal, and a man dedicated to preserving its heritage.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>Intro: </b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Our series Front and Center has been bringing you in-depth reporting on issues affecting the Great Lakes. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Back in 1900, engineers famously reversed the Chicago River, linking the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Almost everybody knows that. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">What you may not know is that Chicago actually first reversed the river 30 years earlier, diverting the water from the Lake to a canal. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">That first link between America’s two great waterways left an enduring mark on Chicago, and the country. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">WBEZ’s Gabriel Spitzer has a profile of the canal, and a man dedicated to preserving its heritage. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><i>(ambi up)</i></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Here in Lockport, the Illinois-and-Michigan Canal is pretty humble. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">It’s about the width of a two-lane road – basically a drainage ditch.&nbsp; </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>Lockport up to here 3s</b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>The canal would have come up right to here …. (fade under)</b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Jerry Adelman stands on a footbridge above its sluggish water. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">He’s president of the conservation group Openlands, and a historian of the canal. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Or really, historian isn’t the right word: the man is a canal encyclopedia. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">He spearheaded creation of the canal’s National Heritage Corridor … he owns a home built by the canal’s chief contractor. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>(Little Adelman monologue up in clear for 2s, then back under)</b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">It’s kind of hard to see what there is to get so excited about. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">But this largely forgotten waterway was once the linchpin of a network that spanned the continent, and set the stage for Chicago’s rise. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Adelman says the idea dates back to the first European settlers. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>Lockport early settlers 14s</b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>They recognized that the waters of the great Lakes and the Mississippi were very close to each other, and if you could dig a canal to connect those drainages then you could have continuous water travel possible from the Atlantic seaboard to the Gulf of Mexico. </b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">By 1848, the hand-dug channel stretched west from Bridgeport for 96 miles. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">A couple decades later they dredged it deeper, effectively reversing the Chicago River for the first time.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>Lockport effluent 8s</b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>The problem though was that the volume of sewage and waste was so great that it would clog up and still back up into the Lake. </b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">His connection to the canal goes back generations. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The museum here in Lockport contains his family’s memorabilia. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>Lockport horn 10s</b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>Here’s the only canal horn that we know of, it was my grandfather’s. When you approached the locks, you would blow the horn to alert the locktender that you were coming. </b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">His roots here date back to when Chicago was nothing more than a handful of buildings and an army fort on the river. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">He says Chicago’s transformation into the leading Midwestern city is tied directly to this waterway. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The city itself was mapped by the canal commissioners … its legacy written in every right-angled intersection. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">And the canal opened up rich farmland in central Illinois, making it the nation’s breadbasket. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>Ottawa grain 21s</b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>The year the canal opened, the Board of Trade opened in Chicago. Also, the first grain elevators in the world were established. <i>So really, everything from that skyscraper on LaSalle Street to the right-angled grid of Chicago to the silos on Illinois farms all date their origins to the Illinois-and-Michigan Canal</i>. That’s largely true. </b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">And the influence goes even deeper. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">If not for this canal, Chicago might be in Wisconsin. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">No joke: the original boundary line between the states ran south of the city. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">But to keep the canal all in one state, Congress nudged the border north, placing Chicago comfortably within the Prairie State. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><i>(ambi car passing)</i></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>LaSalle intro 5s</b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>So we’re in downtown LaSalle, and this is the terminus of the Illinois-Michigan Canal. </b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Jerry Adelman is standing next to the canal visitors center. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Down below tourists can ride aboard a recreated passenger canalboat. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Those original canalboats had a short reign. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The canal was quickly eclipsed in the popular imagination by trains and covered wagons. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">But Adelman says this was a brief but crucial chapter for the American heartland. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>LaSalle character 18s</b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><b>When we think of going west we think of wagon trains, and so forth, all of which is true. But the rivers were our original arteries. It’s the canal that really gave shape and character to this whole central part of the United States, and really positioned Chicago at its terminus to become this great metropolis. </b></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The Illinois-and-Michigan Canal is fragmented now. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Much of it is dry, forming a sloppy dotted line from the South Side to Starved Rock. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">But modern Chicago still bears the signature of that first link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">For Front and Center, I’m Gabriel Spitzer. </span></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 30 Jun 2011 20:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-06-30/first-link-how-canal-spanned-continent-and-built-chicago-88598