»Sep 11 Posted by Bob

Lawrence Fisheries: A New Formula for Preventing Stormwater Runoff

Lawrence Fisheries, located at South Canal Street and Cermak Road along the Chicago River, has a storied history. Founded in 1950, the restaurant’s first generation owner Lawrence Schweig opened a tiny storefront to serve shift workers coming off the river. The 24-hour fishery continues to serve those traveling the waterway, but today its popularity has expanded and the restaurant serves customers citywide.

In the spring of 2014, ICI was hired by Lawrence Fisheries to update several areas of the restaurant. Over the course of three months this summer, ICI installed a new ADA compliant ramp to allow guests easier access to the southern entrance, created a revamped entrance on the building’s eastern edge and, most significantly, installed a permeable concrete system in place of the building’s existing parking lot.

Because of the restaurant’s location along the river, stormwater run-off was a significant concern for both the city and Lawrence Fisheries ownership as they planned for an expanded parking lot. The design and construction team came up with an innovative solution to the problem: “permeable concrete.” The installation of “permeable concrete” [called Filtercrete] marks one of the first Permeable Brick Pavement systems in the city. Although installing permeable brick pavers using a stone base has been a known technology for quite some time, this new formula utilized a configuration of brick, followed by Filtercrete, followed by stone. The formula provides added strength as well as minimizes or stops water run-off. An additional 21” of open stone beneath the Filtercrete allows for water storage.






This unique design eliminated the need for underground water retention on the project, resulting in a huge cost saving to the owner. The design also satisfied the City of Chicago’s concern about storm-water runoff for this project.

The addition of a permeable pavers

   – Reduces stormwater runoff volume from paved surfaces

   – Reduces peak discharge rates

   – Increases recharge through infiltration

   – Reduces pollutant transport through direct infiltration


Diagram of the permeable Filtercrete system: