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Soda Landmark's New Coat

Friday, July 15, 2016

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It may be a lesser-known monument than its neighbor, the Gateway Arch, but the giant Vess soda bottle, in downtown St. Louis is a local landmark nonetheless. And this week, the bottle got a new coat of paint, and a new lease on life.

Vess bottle unveiling
Images: Antique Architectural Decor

The office of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay dedicated Monday (July 11) as “Vess Bottle Day,” and an unveiling event, replete with high school drum line, took place that day.

Vess is a local soda brand in the St. Louis area, owned for the past 20 years by Cott Beverages. The 34-foot-tall bottle first went on display in 1953, and was moved to its current spot in 1990 after being found in storage, according to the Riverfront Times. Cott decided to give the landmark a new paint job to help mark the Vess brand’s 100th anniversary.

To help commemorate, the office of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay dedicated Monday (July 11) as “Vess Bottle Day,” and an unveiling event, replete with high school drum line, took place that day.

On-Site Restoration

The restoration was taken on by St. Louis firm Antique Architectural Décor, which took care of the job onsite, because the bottle couldn’t be moved for fear of breaking it. Antique Architectural is headed up by artist Mark Pitliangas; painter Deontay Haire is credited with much of the work done on the bottle.

Adding to the challenge of the process: In June, when the outdoor job was being completed, temperatures in St. Louis soared, with record-setting 98- and 99-degree official highs recorded.

“As soon as you put the brush and pulled a stroke, it was dry," Pitliangas said.

Vess bottle being painted

Antique Architectural Décor took care of the job onsite, because the bottle couldn’t be moved for fear of breaking it.

According to the Riverfront Times, the cleanup and restoration of the Vess bottle was a nearly $50,000 job for Cott. But the company told the publication it was worth it—both for the good publicity, and the civic pride the sharp new paint job will instill.

"It's advertising and that's great for the business,” Cott’s Jason Sorvillo told the paper. “But at the same time we felt this feeling of responsibility. We wanted to make sure we got it done right to the best of our abilities."


Tagged categories: Advertising; Paint application; Restoration

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