South Side Water Filtration Plant Named After Former Mayor Eugene Sawyer

CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago has honored its second African-American mayor by naming a South Side water filtration plant for him.

Ald. Edward Burke (14th), the acknowledged historian of the Chicago City Council, said it’s fitting the South Water Filtration Plant now bears Eugene Sawyer’s name.

“Mayor Sawyer was professionally educated as a chemist, and early in his career worked in the Water Department,” he said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Sawyer, who became mayor after the late Harold Washington passed away, took over at a tumultuous time for Chicago, and calmed the waters with his steady hand.

Sawyer’s son, Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), said he’s grateful to see his father remembered this way.

“This is truly a humbling experience to have something named after your dad while you’re sitting in the office that he held for so long, and did so much for so many people,” he said.

Sawyer finished Washington’s second term as mayor after Washington’s sudden death from a heart attack. Sawyer died in 2008 and was buried at the same cemetery where Washington was laid to rest.

Several members of the Sawyer family and their friends were on hand for the dedication of the water filtration plant that now bears his name.

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