68th Street (Dunne) Crib Light

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68th Street (Dunne) Crib Light in 2010 – 53rd trip
68th Street (Dunne) Crib Light in 2010 – 53rd trip

Chicago, Illinois

Built: 1909

Water cribs are offshore structures that collect water from close to the bottom of a lake to supply a pumping station onshore. Today, 4 cribs provide water to Chicago and its suburbs. The tunnels leading from the cribs are close to 200 feet beneath the lake and vary in shape from cylindrical to ovular and in diameter from 10 to 20 feet. Lake water enters the cribs and flows through these tunnels to pumps at water purification plants. Until the 1990s, "Crib Tenders", much like lighthouse keepers, lived on the cribs. After 9/11, the Chicago cribs were designated a "security zone" and complete security systems were installed, including video, motion detectors, microwave link, and door sensors, all with direct links to Chicago Police monitoring stations. Any craft that enters the buoyed security zone is subject to boarding, ticketing and impounding.

The 68th Street Crib is located two miles offshore from the eastern end of 68th Street in Chicago. It is also known as the Dunne Crib, named after a former Chicago mayor, Edward F. Dunne. The crib was the main water intake for South Chicago for many years. The light from the 50 foot tower has a focal plane of 61 feet and flashes red every 3 seconds. The hexagonal skeletal tower is painted blue with a silver-gray lantern roof.

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Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey

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Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter & David S. Carter

Copyright © 1995-2011 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, & Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.

This article was last modified on 9/18/2010.

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