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Forest Park Gasometer

It occurred to me on the way westbound on Highway 40 on Sunday that the Forest Park Gasometer had very little time left, as can be seen in this photo above. I returned on Tuesday to get a few more pictures, only to realize that the remaining steel superstructure was gone, leaving only the base. It’s important to realize that the gasometer was NOT a storage tank, but rather a pressure valve to contain rises in the gas pressure in the mains of St. Louis.

The base itself has seen better days, with thick encrustations of rust and paint coating its exterior. I could hear the clanging of workmen on the inside of the drum as they presumably cut the steel to more manageable pieces.

Apparently, they’re turning the whole site into condominiums or something. The old brick gas house, I believe, will be renovated.

The building across the street has been carefully restored and seems to be a harbinger of bigger and better things happening in the neighborhood. As the post woman seen in the doorway remarked when we spoke on the street, “It’s history.”

Gasometers have been reused in other cities, such as Vienna, but perhaps the too-utilitarian form of St. Louis’s central gasometer doomed it.

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