St. Paul stack to be blown up


…. or down…

Xcel Energy announced today it’s going to implode the big smokestack at its High Bridge generating plant on Saturday morning. The stack has been one of the skyline features of St. Paul since 1923. It isn’t needed anymore because the plant no longer burns coal.

The news will disappoint a few people. St. Paul Real Estate blog writer Teresa Boardman, for example, wrote eloquently on the subject last fall:

Why would I care about a smokestack? Why not? We preserve grain elevators and tiny homes that were built in the mid 1800’s why would we demolish a landmark? The stack is 556 feet tall and can be seen for miles. It is also a home for the peregrine falcons.

Peregrine falcons are most at home high in the sky, where they “skydive” for prey. By installing nest boxes at a height of 300- 600 feet above the ground, they created an environment similar to the high cliffs they prefer.

Millions of dollars were used to save, move and preserve the Cape Hatteras Light house, and it does not look all that different from our smokestack. With a little paint we could achieve the same effect.