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Hollywood water tank picked to be calendar model

posted Dec 21, 2011, 9:17 AM by Freddy Suastegui

With her long lean legs and new coat of paint, the Hollywood water tower beat out 150 challengers to grace a national calendar.

   After a $680,000 makeover, the Hollywood water tower was chosen to be the cover of a national calendar.
After a $680,000 makeover, the Hollywood water tower was chosen to be the cover of a national calendar.
Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald staff


Standing tall, lean and flaunting a new makeover, a Hollywood native will soon grace the cover of a national calendar.

But the calendar pinup is no Marilyn Monroe.

It’s the newly refurbished Hollywood water tank, selected as Tank of the Year by Tnemec, a paint company.

The tower — which was redone earlier this year and given a clock and temperature reader that have yet to work properly — was selected because of its vibrant colors.

The honor comes with a glossy appearance in the company’s annual calendar.

“Hollywood’s water tank definitely stood out,” said Mark Thomas, vice president of marketing for Tnemec. “It’s a landmark for the community.’’

The paint company has been selecting its top tower since 2006.

Most of the tanks are plain with stenciled letters, Thomas said. But this year Hollywood’s tank was selected out of 150 submissions because of the vibrant turtles and fish painted on it.

Every 10 years, the city is responsible for fixing up the inside and outside of the tower, located west of Interstate 95 at Sheridan Street. The $680,000 makeover began in August 2010 and included the paint job and adding a digital time and temperature feature.

But since the tower made its debut in May, there have been problems with the readings: Electrical outages often knock the display out, and even when it is working, the two screens often give varying temperatures. That’s because when one reader is in the sun, the other is typically in the shade.

Hollywood resident William Sutton has often complained to the city about the faulty readings, but when he was told about the magazine cover honors, he found it something to laugh over.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Sutton said. “To me it’s a joke that this is what’s going to represent us.”

City leaders have taken heat from residents about spending money on the tower after learning Hollywood was facing a $38 million gap.

“There’s been a lot of controversy and had we known then what we now about the city’s finances, I am sure we would have handled it differently,” Mayor Peter Bober said. “But that tower was a rusting piece of junk and it’s the city’s public face to the world.”

However, money spent on the tower came entirely from user fees, and not the city’s general fund.

Interim City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark said fixing the tower was a necessary expense. “It’s not just a necessary restoration of the water tower,” she said. “It’s an announcement of Hollywood as a tourist destination.”

She added that the city has not paid for the faulty clock, and the company is now installing a new mechanism at its own cost.

Of the calendar honor, Swanson-Rivenbark said it’s exciting. “I think it further affirms the strong design that was selected and the manner in which the work was done,” she said.

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