Forest Park Directrix

Tucked away on the northern edge of Forest Park’s central ball fields is a short red granite marker that commemorates a nineteenth century meteorological station that was once in this location. I posted about it in 2010, but since then I had lost track of its location. Today, I relocated it. I mean, I found it again. I did not move it. Finding this marker was my going into mission for today’s bike ride. Every bike ride should have a mission. The marker is pictures above. Below are the inscriptions on the marker’s four faces:

  • 80.073 feet above City Directrix, Forest Park Meteorological Station, 1890
  • 492.783 feet above mean Tide Gulf of Mexico
  • Latitude 38° 38’ 24”.03
  • Longitude 90° 16’ 28”.32

In 1890, a police substation building was built at this location. The following year, in 1891, a meteorological observatory was established in the tower of this building. Also in 1891, the Park Commissioner placed this red granite stone outside the building, on which is inscribed the exact position and elevation of the point on which it stands. The police no longer occupied the substation after 1894, when a larger mounted police station was built elsewhere in the park. The building was then used for housing park employees. The weather station in the tower continued to operate until at least 1896. The building itself was torn down sometime around 1960, but the granite marker remained.

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