What can you do to a massive abandoned power plant in the middle of St. Louis City? Apparently you can convert into a massive rock climbing gym.
The Power Plant was part of the original City Hospital. Opened in July of 1845, the City Hospital lasted almost 40 years until it finally closed its door in June of ’85. While the hospital was sold to the Pantheon Corporation in 1986, the Power Plant building was sold separately to Trigen Energy Corporation. While it would have been great for the city if either of these new owners did any restoration work, none was ever started and both owners ended up selling the respective properties back to the city’s Land Reutilization Authority in 1992. While City Hospital received a lot of great press for its beautiful transformation into luxury condominiums by Developer Chris Goodson, the power plant was left in the background, until now. For the last three years, Ian Anderson and Dave and Dan Chancellor, owners of Climb So iLL, along with Goodson and local architecture firm UIC + CDO have created a sprawling landscape of climbing walls inside the abandoned building.
This massive gyms will host three rock climbing walls as well as a bouldering wall. The climbing walls will vary in height, width, and challenge level. The largest and toughest will be the 55 foot-tall elite wall. Climb So iLL boasts there will be over 5,000 holds for climbers to grab once the gym is open. For those of you worried about falling to the floor, there will be a thick foam material covering the floor to cushion any falls. One of the many great aspects of this gym will be the inclusion of children in climbing activities. There will be two climbing walls designed just for kids. Not sure what equipment you will need to climb? No worries, Climb So iLL will have a pro shop right inside the gym to purchase all your necessary and supplemental gear.
If you new to climbing, the gym will have several different climbing areas, each one specifically designed to accommodate varying levels of experience and ability. If you just want to try your hands on the walls for a day, they offer visitor rates at $15 / day. They will even rent you all the gear you may need (Harness, Belay Device, Shoes, Chalk Bag, Lead Rope). If you are an experienced climber, the gym is currently offering great pre-membership packages with a standard membership at $54 per month and a premium at $68 per month (apply online).
Below are a few pictures of the the power plant before construction, the conceptual art of the project, and the current progress.
The Grand Opening of Climb So iLL Rock Climbing Gym is scheduled for March 15.
Real Estate Professional
St. Louis Real Estate