January 26, 2009

Monday Mystery

I have passed by these things many times as I drive through St. Louis. I have seen structures exactly like this in Atlanta and at least one other large city between Indiana and Florida. There are always two. One has a stair leading up to the top of the framework, but the other does not. They appear to be in use as the property is clean and lit at night. The stairs are lit, too. There are no visible reasons for the framework, which is perched above what appears to be a large tank below. I can see no pipes or cables, other than those that stabilize the right angles on the framework.

What the heck is this?

I have no idea, so I'm asking you.


Brian R said...

They look to be gas storage tanks. Possibly disused so you never see them full. They were common here when I was young but now we use natural gas, I think they have been removed.

Birdie said...

But what is all that steel framework for? And why does one have a stair but not the other?

Ur-spo said...

those are the biggest tomato cages I have ever seen.
No doubt Omar's Lebanese from hell

(look it up)

Brian R said...

As gas flows into the tank, the metal lid rises, the sides rise too and when full it would look like a solid steel tank.
Found this on google
shows tanks holding different amounts of gas. Have no idea why one has stairs and the other not. The ones in the photo do not seem to have stairs.
I lived near (not too near) some of these as a boy but now Australia uses natural gas and as far as I know they have all been removed. The gas works area which was near my old home is now an upmarket apartment area

Birdie said...

Ohhhhhhh. Thank you, Brian! (The tank nearest the camera has a stairway on the back. Why the other one doesn't is a mystery I can live with.)

Ur-Spo: Nice try.

This was fun! I'll see if I can come up with more Monday mysteries. There's always more to learn.

Greg said...

Dang, I'm late. I was going to suggest they were an art installation addressing our ever-shrinking oil resources. Ah, well. I guess they are, at that.

But man, I'd sure LOVE to see some morning glories climbing up over THAT. ; )