301. Kokomo Gas tower

The Koppers Company, Inc. was contracted by Kokomo Gas and Fuel Company to construct the Kokomo Gas Tower. Started in 1954, the tower was built within 13 months through rain, snow, and heat. Having sat on an area of 36,855 square feet, this tower stood at 378 feet tall with a diameter of 213 feet and held up to 12 million cubic feet of natural gas. After being constructed in 1955, the tower was painted green with a red and white checked pattern at the top. It took 4,500 gallons of paint to cover the 600,000 square foot surface area in 2 coats of paint. Since then, the tower was only repainted 2 other times, once in 1972 and the second in 1985.

Throughout Howard County, the Kokomo Gas Tower was an iconic landmark and was also used as a navigation reference point by Grissom when it was still in full operation. However, the tower started to suffer as maintenance costs began growing and usefulness for the tower began to decrease. With costs equaling about $75,000 per year and a new coat of paint being priced at up to $1,000,000; Kokomo Gas and Fuel Company no longer saw a use for the tower. Thus, after much deliberation, it was decided that the tower must come down. On Sunday, September 7, 2003 with onlookers all around, the Kokomo Gas Tower came tumbling down within a few seconds. Fragments of the tower were later sold to help raise money for the Kokomo Technology Center.

A video of the demolition of the gas tower is available on our YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/AYVUVciz0YQ