D-Tour: Rainbow tank

When driving to or from Boston on the expressway, the rainbow tank is hard to miss. And while it is impressive from the ground, 7’s Danielle Gersh had to get a view from the top.

Not only is the tank a landmark from the road, but from up in the sky too.

“Whether they’re driving on the highway, on the expressway, or they’re flying in from vacation, they think of home,” said Joshua Cardoso, the plant operations supervisor for National Grid.

But the 150 foot structure which holds just under 14 million gallons of liquified natural gas isn’t just a gas tank, it’s also the largest copyrighted work of art in the world.

“Corita Kent was a a pop artist, a nun, an activist,” said Eva Payne, a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Harvard University. “She once said that the gas tank and the rainbow on it was a sign of hope urging people to go on.”

Since “The Rainbow Swash” was painted during the Vietnam War, there was some controversy.

“We’ve heard from many people that there is a profile of Ho Chi Minh in the blue stripe, and she always categorically denied it,” Payne said.

The art wasn’t always on the tank it’s on now.

“When the second tank was built the artwork was transferred over,. We decided to take down the original tank,” said Cardoso.

A gift from the artist to the people of Boston that’s still standing tall.

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