Salem’s Acid Ball to Eco-Earth, a Creative Reuse Project

The more you think about creative reuse, the easier it is to find examples of it. One of Salem’s most impressive creative reuse projects can be found at Riverfront Park.

This 10 ton globe tank came to Salem in August 7, 1960 from the Portland company, Northwest Copper Works. It was used by Boise Cascade’s pulp mill to hold acid and gasses used in cooking wood chips. When the city purchased the land for Riverfront Park in the late 80’s, the city asked that the Acid Ball would be a part of the deal. (Statesman Journal [Salem, Or] 22 June 2003)

Globe tank for acid storage in Salem, Oregon, 1960

There it sat until the city, former Mayor Roger Gertenrich, and many volunteers raised enough funds ($100,000) to start the project. It was a 5-year process to transform the acid ball into artwork that includes 86,000 tiles depicting the entire globe.


This project proves that with the right vision and dedication, Salem does support creative reuse projects. And I think it’s just about time for a Creative Reuse Revolution. Don’t you think? 😉

Salem Oregon Creative Reuse

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