Between the beginning and the middle of the 19th century, the population doubled - only to increase again as much from 1850 to the eve of World War 1. Because of this population increase, Chur, with its still largely medieval-early modern structures, had to transform itself into a modern city. In 1820-1861, a large part of the city fortifications was removed. In 1820, street lighting with oil lanterns is introduced.
In 1833, the stock building on Grabenstrasse is constructed. 1840-1841 the barracks in Rossboden are built. In 1841 the pasta factory is founded.
In the welfare sector, in addition to the usual donations and endowments, the orphanage was built in 1844, the Plankis educational home in 1845, the citizens' home in 1847, the construction of the Kreuzspital in 1852-1853, initiated by the Capuchin Father Theodosius Florentini, the opening of the Sand hospital in 1872, the city hospital in 1875, the Kreuzspital, founded in 1853, moved to Loëstrasse in 1912, and the first old people's home was opened in 1924.
But other infrastructures were also built or renewed: In 1858, the Rorschach-Chur line of the United Swiss Railways was opened. Street lighting with oil lanterns gave way to that with gas in 1859. The first public swimming pool dates from 1871, and the renewal of the water supply began in 1880. 1890 introduction of the telephone, from 1891 a municipal electric power plant supplied electricity, which underwent extensions in 1906, 1914 and 1947, 1895 takeover of the gasworks by the city, 1896 foundation of the "Lichtwerke und Wasserversorgung" (later "Industrielle Betriebe der Stadt Chur"), 1905 - 08 construction of the sewerage system, 1906 expansion of electricity production by commissioning of the Zentrale Sand, 1911 construction of the gasworks on the Rheinstrasse, 1914 construction of the Plessurwerk Molinis - Lüen. The city of Chur was involved in several of the construction projects.
Representatives of the Köhl family were also involved in several of the construction projects. For example, Peter Köhl-Neukomm (1879-†1928), master of the public utility, was involved in the construction of the sewerage system on Obere Gasse. Carpenter Christian Köhl-Stemmer (1875-†1917) was also allowed to work on various new buildings. And last but not least Christian Köhl-Klee (1908-†1984), plant manager of the IBC, who was involved in the renovation of the energy plant in the sand in 1947 and later supervised it as deputy plant manager.
In the book "Chur 1893" by city archivist Dr. Ulf Wendler, which is well worth reading, further details and many great illustrations from this time can be found.
Workers celebrate the end of backfill work for the new sewer system in Obere Gasse in 1907. Also in the picture on the far left: Peter Köhl, deputy foreman at the construction office of the city of Chur (StAGR, Chur, Lienhard & Salzborn inventory, FN IV 18/24 C 046).
Obere Gasse and Gansplatz with gas lighting. View in the direction of Obertor, 1908 or earlier. (StAC, F 02.159)
34: Chur 1893, Ulf Wendler, 2010, Stadtarchiv Chur, Stadtarchiv Chur