The water tower at the Franklin plant will undergo a transformation

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photo courtesy of Franklin Factory

As Franklin’s trees don their warm fall hues, the city’s tallest landmark – the Franklin Water Tower Plant – turns from green to red. Painting begins this month and is just part of Holladay Properties’ reimagining of the historic and historic shopping and entertainment destination.

“As seen in many images of the Franklin skyline from the past, the water tower was painted rust red for many years. Part of our efforts to elevate The Factory brand includes connecting to the history of this place, so we also chose rust red as our new logo color and as an accent color throughout the property. I also learned, talking and meeting people in the community over the last few months that a lot of people have missed the red water tower,” said Allen Arender, executive vice president of development for Holladay Properties, which is leading the property’s revival.

Once the tower is restored to its former rust-red glory, the new Factory at Franklin logo will be painted on the 75,000-gallon tank atop the tower.

The painting of the water tower is the most recent and visible manifestation of Holladay Properties’ comprehensive renovation of The Factory at Franklin’s 10-building campus. The developers also recently released plans to create a park-like outdoor gathering area under the iconic tower, read here.

Other work underway includes the creation of a new ‘great hall’ at the west end of the main building, which is expected to be completed early next year. Work will also begin soon on building spaces for the recently announced new tenants.

Franklin Water Tower Plant Facts:

  • The tower was erected when Allen Manufacturing Company built The Factory, between 1929 and 1930.
  • It was originally painted silver, with real flecks of aluminum mixed into the paint.
    Holds 75,000 gallons and stands 110 feet tall.
  • Is one of 69 water towers on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The water tower was last operational when Jamison Bedding made mattresses and sofa beds at The Factory from 1961 to 1991.
  • It was important to have a water tower on the property for the steam engines, for running water for the showers and in case of fire. (Fortunately, it was never used for further purposes!)
  • The factory’s iconic structure is an example of the “Tin Man” style of riveted metal water towers that sprang up in small town America in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • They are nicknamed for their shape: a face-shaped, conical tub with a hemispherical bottom, topped with a pointed hat, reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz. Like Franklin did, many communities came together to save these monumental and iconic towers.
  • There was a story about a man who was doing maintenance around the barrel of The Factory’s water tower but forgot a tool. He sent his friend for the tool, and when the friend returned, the man had fallen asleep on the platform! They had to be careful when waking him up, so as not to startle him!
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