River des Peres South of Forest ParkJanuary 25, 2010
Inspired by both Michael Allen’s “The Harnessed Channel: How the River Des Peres Became a Sewer” and my own proximity to the river, I set out this morning to follow it until it went underground. An article in the West End Word identifies the beginning of the tunnel as being near Macklind Avenue and the Macklind Pump Station, so I set off walking along the river East from around Hampton alongside train tracks and huge industrial buildings.
On foot and close to the “river’s edge” the size of the cement ditch is impressive, but from the surface its usefulness is hidden. The river clearly represents a significant project but its dirtiness and emptiness make it harder to appreciate. Luckily a little further up the river I reached my goal and was able to feel the weight of the accomplishment that the River des Peres really is.
I’m hoping to find the North tunnel entrance as well in the near future. My photos from the trip are here.