Old St Louis Air Raid Sirens

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Hey there, my name's Adam and I'm an engineering student at Wash U. I'm new to the board here, but a big fan of lots of stuff relating to urban decay, old military stuff, as well as air raid/civil defense/tornado sirens. Hopefully this is the right forum for this request:

As many of you that live within the city limits know, several years ago, the city replaced its aging system of failing WW II-era air raid sirens with newer electronic voice-capable ones. According to city records and as far as the EMA office knows, all of the old sirens were removed, but this is not the case. I have so far found 2 to still exist and I believe from talking to the EMA office that the city has the intent to remove and discard of the ones that still are up. I have attached photos of the two that I have found so far. The first one is on the north side of 40 near Grand next to a billboard in the parking lot of a rental equipment facility (visible from the highway, especially going west-bound) and the other (2 pics) is behind the New Cathedral. If any of you know of any others that are still up somewhere or can remember locations of any that used to be up, I'd appreciate it a lot.


North of Hwy 40:


Near New Cathedral:



That is so freaking random... :o

And really kinda cool...

Did they really install new AIR RAID SIRENS? :shock: DO they double as tornado sirens as well or something? Maybe I'm a classic egocentric (St. Louisan) American, but these seem...out of place, perhaps...in our...or maybe "this" city...

Better safe than sorry! :P

Sorry, I'm of absolutley no help...
The new warning sirens are meant for any type of hazard that may threaten the city, with the primary one being tornadoes, which is why they are tested the first monday of every month at 11 am (weather permitting). St Louis County also tests at this time, but none of the ones in the county are voice-capable (and they have a list of all 200+ locations online so don't need help with that). The old sirens are mechanical with a large motor spinning a powerful fan and chopper to create the noise. They could do just two signals....a steady alert and a wailing up and down attack signal and were controlled via leased land-lines. The new ones are loudspeaker cells stacked on top of each other that can range from 1 to 10 units tall, though most in the city are 7 cells tall. They are all solar-powered and run off of batteries so that they can still send out a warning at night or even when the municipal power has been out for a week. Most fire stations have one up on a pole in back and there are others scattered around on telephone poles throughout the city. I have found most of the locations in the city from Delmar south but will go explore around the northern sections more to find others. I attached a picture of one of the newer models and though not the best picture of one, it has a building in the background that makes it more board-related. They are fairly easy to find as many are at fire stations and once you have found several and plotting out approximate 1-mile or so coverage rings (depending on the number of speaker cells) you can see where gaps in coverage are and the approximate area of where another one should be. The old system is much more intriguing though and up until 1999 when the new system began to be installed, St Louis had one of the oldest running warning siren systems as very few cities still retained their WW II sirens and instead had ones installed in the 50s, 60s, and 70s with Civil Defense funds during the Cold War.

Example of new siren at Fire Station 35 (9 cell unit---Model 2809 if you really want to know)


How do you find the locations online?
This is the list of all the locations:


Be mindful that if you are trying to find the closest and loudest one to your home that is may very well be in a bordering zip code other than your own. The county keeps most of their sirens about 1 mile in from its borders which originally meant that people living near the county-county lines or the county-city line did not get a sufficient sound level for adequate warning, but when the city installed its new system, many were placed right near the city-county border, with several along the River Des Peres-Mc Causland-Skinker-Goodfellow which helped fill in the gaps very well.

The vast majority are electronic with battery backup installed anywhere from the 80s up until last year (maybe even some this year, not sure of that yet), though some are older mechanical ones, especially in Fenton, Hazelwood, and Florissant. The older ones slowly get phased out and replaced one by one as they fail or better coverage is needed in an area.

We should take these sirens and install them in from of Cohens house. Maybe then he would do something about the city centre.


it looks as if you are living up to your name. you are indeed a welcome addition to this forum.

ya if those were actually for air threats like in WW2 then thbey were extremely unnessicary. St. Louis wis too far inland. now if they are tornado sirens then yes they are needed and are really cool if they still work.

Thats very cool. Thanks for the posts. I preseume you are asking hoping that when the city takes down the last few you can have them?
Someone hacked Dallas tornado sirens last night - turning on all 156 of them near midnight.
https://twitter.com/JasonWhitely/status ... 5084716033