Hamburger Water Tower Project Progresses

FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2019

The Hamburg, New York, water tower repainting project is on a roll: The Hamburger Water Tower Committee was recently granted tax-exempt status by the IRS. According to a local news station, this means fundraising can now begin.

A final design for the project was selected back in November. Most recently, the Hamburger Water Tower Committee was at the Hamburg BurgerFest to raise awareness and get in the spirit of the event.

Hamburger Tower History

Residents of Hamburg, near Buffalo, mounted a drive to have an out-of-commission elevated steel water storage tank repainted to resemble the staple of American cuisine. The multi-column Hamburg tank, within sight of the New York State Thruway, is already shaped a bit like a round sandwich anyway, and resident Chris Hannotte Luly, who graduated from the Leadership Buffalo program in 2016, made it her mission last year to bring the meaty vision to fruition.

In late 2017, the town's council approved a plan for Luly to begin fundraising for the project, after determining that the tower is structurally sound, and also uncovering lead paint that would balloon the cost of the aesthetic renovation. Luly had spearheaded a petition that got more than 2,000 signatures prior to the council decision.

In August, four finalists were up for a public vote including designs by Scott Schranz of Nickle City Designs, Casey Milbrand of CWM Designs, muralist Tim Martin and RidgeLogic Development's Dylan Cownie.

In November, Cownie won the water tower artwork competition; his creation featured what he thought people would like to see and like to eat—a hamburger.

Latest Update

According to The Buffalo News, the paint job is expected to cost around $1 million. Some of those who had voted on design choices had pledged thousands of dollars. Shirts featuring Crownie’s design were also sold at the festival on July 20.

Festival coordinator Sue Ganey noted that around the country, there are a number of towers that look like ketchup bottles and peaches, adding that there was no reason “not to have a hamburger in Hamburg.”

To those on the committee, repainting the tower is more about drawing tourism than something that is just a fun idea.

"These iconic infrastructure projects, they exist all across the United States, and people travel to see them," said Luly, chairperson of the committee. "So we believe that if we paint it, they will come here to the Southtowns."


Tagged categories: Color + Design; Design; Government; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Water Tanks

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