10. There’s a lake under Downtown
While it’s widely known that Downtown is built on swampland and slowly sinking, there’s actually a lake under there too. Lake Emily lies below the Northwestern Mutual building at Wisconsin and Cass. It exists in drawings of the area before Downtown was developed, and no one knows who “Emily” was. The building is supported by thousands of wood pilings that are driven through the lakebed. Since they are in water, they must be kept that way in order to avoid rotting. So in the basement of the building, workers regularly check the level of the water under the floor, adding water when it gets too low. Weirdly enough, we’re actually preserving a lake under a building.
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