Underground gasoline tank ripped from its 80 year old resting place in Wicker Park

Date: 
01/10/2015
Beginning

A Department of Public Health inspector and two R. W. Collins employees begin a multi-hour job

GravelRemoval

Pea gravel is being dumped away from the hole

The gasoline tank buried under ground on the alley boundary of 2129 W. North Ave., was ripped from its decades old housing Thursday despite the bitter cold temperatures. The property is being prepared for the Jewish Council for Youth Services building to be built on the site starting later this year. 

Testing

City Inspector gives the sampling the "sniff" test

Made of steel and unlike the other close to half a million tanks* that remain underground in the City, according to the  Chicago Department of Public Health inspector at the site, this tank was used for gasoline versus heating oil. The tank, which was obviously corroded was probably 80 to 90 years old. 

The giant claw scooped out pea gravel, surrounding the tank. Then, it attacked the tank, pulling it out in multiple chunks.  

Extraction

Grasped by the claw, the first part of the tank reluctantly leaves its longtime home

Grabbing a handful of gravel, the City Inspector smelled the content of his hand, pronouncing it "clean." He said, "Samples will be sent to the lab but this appears to have no problems. If there had been gasoline in it or it had seeped out, it would smell really bad." 

Torn down in 2014, the building was a two-story structure with an apartment in the front and a single-story bow truss structure in the rear. The first floor was 8,400 square feet and the second floor was 1,200 square feet. 

*A 2013 NBC report indicates that there are "Approximately 21,150 underground storage tanks (UST) are known to exist within city limits."

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