Thursday, April 30, 2020

1890,1905 Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company/Lydow & Drews

(Satellite, it used to occupy the north and east parts of Turning Basin #1)

I recognize Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company as the one that built the foundations for some of the bridges in Chicago. I assume the satellite location was their original location. Their web site claims they now have five locations in the USA, but I can't find where they are. I did find that their headquarters is now in Oakbrook, IL. But it is safe to assume that they don't park any of their over 200 "specialized vessels" there. And they obviously no longer use the location shown below that was between 92nd and 94th on the east side of the Calumet River.
Rod Sellers posted
U-505 submarine being readied for transport via Calumet River and Lake Michigan to Museum of Science and Industry. The submarine is at the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock facility at 92nd and the Calumet River and is in a floating dry dock. 92nd Street Bridge is visible in background. Photograph was one of several donated to the SECHS by Jim Rossi. Additional preparation work was also done at the Shipyards at 101st and the Calumet River as shown in the attached photograph.

William Bork It was installed at the Museum and dedicated in Sept. 1954.
Wayne Garritano By 92nd Street . Just made it through the St.Lawrence Seaway on its way to Lake Michigan and around 58th Street to the Museum Of Science and Industry.
Dennis DeBruler If it was installed at the museum in 1954, then the U-505 had to come up the Illinois Waterway from the Gulf of Mexico because the St. Lawrence Seaway did not open until 1959. During WWII submarines were shipped down the Illinois Waterway using floating dry docks so transporting submarines on the waterway had precedent.
This photo is the attached photo referred to by Rod's comment above.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Rod's post
[GLDD donated the use of their dry dock.]

1938 Aerial Photo from IHLAP

Association for Great Lakes Maritime History posted
A bird's-eye view of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Ill. published by Chicago-based Rand McNally and Co. (Image Source: Library of Congress - Geography and Map Collection Division). 
The massive dredging and marine construction work needed at the site was an early project of the newly-formed partnership of Lydow & Drews which became the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. in 1905.
The Columbian Exposition was built on empty marshland bordering Lake Michigan. In addition to widespread dredging and pile driving, the event also required the construction of numerous lakefront docks and piers.
Those structure were need to accommodate the millions of visitors who arrived at the Exposition by water. In an interesting side note, the replica battleship U.S.S. Illinois can be seen alongside a pier on the right-hand side of the image.
Additional Historical Information - Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co.
What became the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. was founded in 1890 as Lydon & Drews, a partnership of William A. Lydon and Fred C. Dew, both of Chicago, Ill. Its first project was the construction of a tunnel to extend the water intake line for Chicago to a new crib farther out into Lake Michigan.
During the 1890s, the partnership experienced tremendous growth. Among its projects at the time were the dredging and shoreline structures needed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and pile driving for the foundation of what is currently Navy Pier. Based on its success in the Chicago area, the company soon opened satellite operations in major cities around the Great Lakes region.
In 1905, the partnership changed its name to the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. and its fleet now included thirteen dredges and ten tugboats. During the period of 1905-1920, the company’s services grew to include the construction of foundations, bridges, breakwaters and lighthouses, along with dredging and pile driving. 
Examples of specific projects during the period of 1900-1950 include a large-scale water intake for what was then the new Gary Works of U.S. Steel in Gary, Ind., construction of the Sabin Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., shoreline reclamation for landmark parks and museums on Chicago’s lakefront, and construction of the foundations and approaches for many of the city’s iconic bridges. 
By 1920, the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. had expanded its operations to the East Coast of the U.S. During World War II, it was awarded a coveted E-Flag by the U.S. Navy for work on the MacArthur Lock at Sault Ste. Marie. 
After the war, the company continued its growth and worked on projects East, Gulf and West Coasts of the U.S. and many of the country’s inland waterways. The firm also expanded internationally through projects in the Middle East, Latin America, and other regions of the world. 
Information Source:

Mark Sprang posted six photos with the comment:
I'm currently working on processing the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company Collection and came across this set of images of U-505. This U-boat was captured by the U.S. Navy in June 1944 (the first enemy vessel captured on the high seas since the Civil War). After thorough testing and analysis, the Navy donated it to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in 1954. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock had the responsibility of setting up the outdoor docking space where U-505 was on display until being placed in a climate-controlled facility in 2004.






They learned a lot about dredging while helping to build the landfills along Chicago's shore such as Grant Park, Lincoln Park, Northerly Island. etc. Now they specialize in dredging and do projects around the world as well as the nation.


[I had expected them to do the substructure (foundation) work. But I'm surprised they also did the superstructure (steel) work.]


This one caught my eye because Bay Shipbuilding is on the Great Lakes.
It can use the St. Lawrence Seaway to get to the oceans because it would be running light between jobs so its draft would be shallow.

St. Lawrence Seaway dimensions: 740' x 78' x 26.5'  with a limit above the water of 116.5'. [Seaway Facts]
The Liberty Island is their second largest dredge. The Ellis Island would be too wide to go through the seaway. I didn't realize that seaway ships are so long and skinny until I saw the dimentions of this dredge.

MWRD posted
Two photos combined to show a panoramic view of Wilmette Harbor on Lake Michigan on September 12, 1920, taken while the MWRD was dredging the harbor and building a breakwater.
[I don't know if GLDD is doing this work, but historical photos that I saw on the GLDD web site were similar to this.]

You can see their name on one of the barges helping to build the Chicago River Controlling Works.

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