Episode 021 – Honey, I Think We Have Some Water in the Basement

On Monday morning, April 13, 1992, basements of old downtown Chicago commercial buildings mysteriously began filling with water.  Unbeknownst to these building owners, an old underground system of railroad delivery tunnels had been punctured by a crew working on pilings on the Chicago River.   Before it was done, an estimated 250 million gallons of water from the Chicago River had flooded scores of vintage downtown buildings, and closed the subway system. A hobbyist and train enthusiast, Bruce Moffatt, had written a small book about this early 20th century forgotten underground delivery system.  Overnight, he was the unsuspecting celebrity interviewee on background for this amazing news story.  Hear Bruce tell the story of the creation of Chicago’s underground commercial network of tunnels that delivered services and goods to Chicago’s great buildings of the early 20th century.