Place in History

Maspeth Holders

Years: July 15, 2003 – July 15, 2005
Project: Premonition: The Maspeth Holders Memorial at the Pulaski Bridge Pedestrial Path

At 7 AM on July 15, 2001 the Maspeth Holders twin tanks that made up the North Brooklyn skyline imploded in a planned demolition commissioned by Keyspan Energy Delivery. Built in 1927 and 1948 to ensure constant residential gas line pressure, the Holders had outlived their usefulness.

The event became a minor attraction for those who had become attached to tanks. Small groups assembled on rooftops, on local streets, and on bridges to bear witness to the final hours of these familiar giants.

At the time, the fascination of the fall thrilled us. The instant change of landscape, in stark contrast to the slow pace of urban decay and renewal, felt liberating.

Thinking back, it's hard not to view the falling tanks as a horrific premonition, a scale model of events which, less than two months later, would transform the skyline over your right shoulder. Thinking back, it's hard not to feel ashamed at our fascination.

Boxes by Place in History
Industrial Engineering by Adam Levinson
Photos and Text by Paul Parkhill

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