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Where in the Hudson Valley Contest: Air Ball

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Most of us wouldn’t give a second glance at the industrial structures that stand like soldiers along a good portion of the Hudson’s shoreline. But this particular example — which you can glimpse while riding on an Amtrak train, or strolling through the Valley’s newest state park — stopped us in our tracks. Depending on whom you ask, it resembles either a softball, a soccer ball, or a beach ball. In any case, its perfectly rounded shape and riveted metal panels are odd indeed. Exactly what is it?

Well, we did a little digging. This type of container is called a Horton sphere, a storage tank that is a familiar sight at chemical plants and oil refineries. This particular sphere holds compressed air, which its owner uses to help distribute gas through its lines. Most interesting of all, the sphere has been guarding the river’s edge for close to 100 years. Not bad for an overgrown toy!

Do you know which Valley city is home to this giant globe? (Extra points if you can identify the company that owns it.) If you think you do, send us your answer as a comment in the box below. The first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!

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