N 38 38' 24.03", W 90 16' 28.32" - St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member dcrep
N 38° 38.401 W 090° 16.457
15S E 737235 N 4280355
Quick Description: A granite marker in Forest Park on which coordinates are inscribed.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 5/24/2010 9:17:48 PM
Waymark Code: WM8X5G
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 10

Long Description:
This granite marker is at the north end of the Central Fields of Forest Park, in St. Louis. The four sides of the marker read, starting on the north side and going counterclockwise:

Above City Directrix 80.073 Ft. Forest Park 1890 Meteorological Station.
Above Mean Tide Gulf of Mexico 492.783 Ft.
Latitude 38 38' 24".03
Longitude 90 16' 28".32

So what is this marker, and why is it here?

Here's the story, according to reference #1 below. In 1890, a police substation building was built at this location. The following year, in 1891, a meteorological observatory was established in the tower of this building. Also in 1891, the Park Commissioner placed a granite stone outside the building, on which is inscribed the exact position and elevation of the point on which it stands. The police no longer occupied the substation after 1894, when a larger mounted police station was built elsewhere in the park. The building was then used for housing park employees. The weather station in the tower continued to operate until at least 1896. The building itself was torn down sometime around 1960, but the granite marker remained.

According to reference #2, the city "directrix", mentioned on one side of the marker, refers to the datum (reference basis) used at the time in St. Louis for city topography. The directrix was a stone marker located downtown, and its elevation was precisely measured by the Mississippi River Commission. Reference #3 suggests the directrix had been destroyed by 1892, and engineers in St. Louis considered using the granite marker in Forest Park as the new datum. I'm unable to find any sources saying if the marker was ever actually used for this purpose.


1. "Forest Park" by Caroline Loughlin and Catherine Anderson, 1986, pages 47-50, 251-252.

2. "The City of Saint Louis of To-day: Its Progress and Prospects", 1889, pages 73-74.

3. "The Railroad and Engineering Journal, volume LXVI", 1892, page 552.
Type of structure: Other

Difference between the post coordinates and your GPSr reading:
70 feet

Reason for the coordinates: It was placed at the location of a former meteorological observatory.

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wildernessmama visited N 38 38' 24.03", W 90 16' 28.32" - St. Louis, MO 11/1/2013 wildernessmama visited it