Few people passing by on Olive Street Road in Olivette realize they’re passing a 100 million gallon reservoir for the City of St. Louis.
Built in conjunction with the Howard Bend Treatment Plant in the early 20th Century, the reservoir received water pumped uphill from the plant, and then gravity took the water downhill to the city.
There are a couple of interesting buildings around the site, and interestingly, I did not see a single sign stating the purpose of the structure. If you look at Google maps, you can see there is a right-of-way going east from the reservoir that is probably the path of the water pipe.
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This is Olive @ Warson, right? I drive by here every day. I knew it was a reservoir but not how large. I've been in the park but never checked out the buildings. However, isn't it called Stacy Park? Also, it's just Olive Blvd. AFAIK only the two little segments that shoot off on either side of Lindbergh are called (Old) Olive Street Road.
It is interesting that the cover on the reservoir has huge letters stating "DANGER KEEP OFF." Presumably that is a warning to helicopters, hot air balloons, and NCC-1701?The city of Olivette operates the park which surrounds the reservoir on two sides.
I hopped the fence and sneaked up there once. I was curious so I wanted to see what it looked like. This was long before google earth, 9/11, and the internet. I was expecting to see the thing filled with water, only to discover that it was covered in concrete! I’ve always wanted to know what was in that house-like structure.
I never had the guts to sneak up there when I was a kid, though I always wanted to.
I worked for the Water Department in the early 80’s. I was in charge of maintenance of the 3 pipelines which came from Howard Bend and feed the reservoir. The concrete top was not in good shape, plenty of crumbling concrete at the time. At some point in the 80’s, the city contracted with J S Alberici to remove and repair the top. Originally, the entire top was to be replaced, but due to condition and money, Alberici only completed half of the repairs. We drained the reservoir, it was down for several months, and spent days inside cleaning it while Alverici formed up and poured new concrete over half of it. You can tell the concrete is of 2 different periods from the first picture on this post. You really had no idea how bid this thing is until you are inside of it, looking up and looking to the other end.
Very cool; do you think there are any pictures of the interior?
I heard the reservoir was originally uncovered. Out of curiosity do you happen to know when they covered it? Can’t find the answer on Google.
Looks like an old post, but stumbled on it and thought I’d chime in.
I’ve lived about a 15 minute walk away from Stacy Park since childhood and was always fascinated by the reservoir (because no one is allowed to go up there). After Google satellite imaging I was finally able to see the cover.
For those of you who still go to the library (i.e. nobody), the headquarters branch of the county library has an Olivette history book that showcases some of the historic houses (some of which have since been torn down like that dilapidated one at old bonhomme and arbor road).
Also, Olivette’s web site has a little fun facts type page that’s kind of interesting.