Lingering Effects


Photograph Courtesty of the Champaign County Historical Archives

The Illinois Power and Light Company brought electricity and coal gas to growing cities across Illinois. Because developers were unaware of the long-term environmental impacts, gas plants like this were often located in the middle of residential areas.

The coal gasification plant (shown at left and modeled here), for example, was located in the heart of a residential neighborhood at Fifth and Hill Streets in Champaign. This plant was critical in providing pressurized gas to homes and businesses. These large tanks contained the gas in massive bladders. The weight on the top of the bladders compressed the gas and ensured pressure in the distribution network. Unfortunately, creating this gas from coal ultimately resulted in pulltion problems that continue to this day.