You've probably driven past this structure a dozen times, completely unaware of its claim to fame. This is the tallest man-made structure in the state of Utah.

You'll pass by this as you drive down I-80 west of Salt Lake City, Utah. It is by far the tallest man-made structure in the state, measuring 1,215 feet.

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The Tallest Man-Made Structure In The State of Utah

Do you recognize the Kennecott Utah Copper LLC's Garfield Smelter Stack? I recognize the structure, but I certainly don't recognize the name.

Wikipedia states:

Kennecott Utah Copper LLC’s Garfield Smelter Stack is a 1,215 feet (370 m) high smokestack west of Magna, Utah, alongside Interstate 80 near the Great Salt Lake. It was built to disperse exhaust gases from the Kennecott Utah Copper smelter at Garfield, Utah.

Kennecott Smelter Smokestack

Isn't It a Little... Too Big?

Jack Haymond, a consulting engineer for Kennecott, told Desert News, "It's overkill for this (refinery) plant."  He added, "But it was here. … It would cost a fortune to take it down."

On the other hand, it does its job very well. According to Desert News, this is one of the two cleanest smelters in the world, capturing 99.9% of all the sulfur gas released.

Kennecott Smelter Smokestack Street View
Google Maps

A Few Specs Courtesy of Wikipedia

  • 1,215 feet tall
  • 177 feet wide in diameter at the bottom
  • walls are 12 feet thick at the bottom
  • 40-foot diameter at the top
  • walls are 12 inches thick at the top
  • 26,000 cubic yards of concrete
  • built with 26,317 cubic yards of wood
  • 900 short tons of steel
  • Built in 1974
  • It took 84 days to pour the concrete
  • $16.3 million to build

Claim To Fame

In addition to being the tallest man-made structure in Utah, it's the tallest free-standing structure west of the Mississippi. It's also the fourth tallest smokestack in the world and the 59th tallest freestanding structure on the planet. At 1,215 feet tall, it's only 35 feet shorter than the Empire State Building.

Give It a Look

The next time you're driving north of Salt Lake City, be sure to catch a look at this amazing structure. Again, you've probably seen it dozens of times, possibly unaware it was the tallest man-made structure in the state of Utah.

Kennecott Smelter Smokestack Map
Google Maps

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