On the northwest corner of Chouteau & Newstead a Laclede Gas Gasometer rises high above the surrounding neighborhood. It is a landmark that most St. Louisans are familiar with, but likely take for granted, but after 106 years, it is scheduled to be demolished. The photo below shows the launch of a gas balloon race in 1907 which drew contestants from around the globe. The site, which according to city records is still owned by Laclede Gas, contains the gasometer, a pump house which was built in 1911 (and will be preserved) and a paved parking/storage yard where a second gasometer once stood (unsure of dates of construction or removal)
The Post-Dispatch reported recently that developers Steve Trampe and Jerry King will be taming up to redevelop the site with housing and possibly some commercial. According to the article, there is no definitive development plan for the site.
The fact that the developer's plan to demolish the structure is interesting considering that it was Steve Trampe who renovated one of the toughest buildings (in terms of its condition and degree of difficulty) in recent memory, the Continental Life Building. Admittedly, a gasometer is very different than a beautiful but derelict high rise office building, and it would take a great deal of creativity and ingenuity to adapt the structure for say residential use.
For more photos of the gasometer at Chouteau & Newstead, see: Built St. Louis, and Flickr
So what can you do with an old gasometer? There are many examples of creative re-use out there, including this one in Vienna, which reuses the shells of four old iron and masonry gasometers. Here are a few photos from the web site about this project.
The Last of Its Kind, Samuel Shepard Drive
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