Almost 45 years into its reign atop the St. Louis skyline, the 630-foot monument is suffering from growing rust and decay. And nobody knows how extensive.
Corrosion, some of it feared aggressive, and severe discoloration of the stainless steel skin have long been present, according to engineering reports reviewed by the Post-Dispatch.
The documents and interviews with metallurgists indicate that the remedy could be as minor as an “expensive” surface cleaning or as elaborate as a full-blown restoration. One report, completed in 2006, called for a deeper study, for which the National Park Service says it only recently obtained funding.