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July 24, 2024

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The Water Tower at The Factory to Change Color

Once the tower is restored to its former rusty red glory, a new logo will be painted on the 75,000-gallon tank.

Just as the trees of Franklin are donning their warm autumn hues, the cityโ€™s tallest landmark โ€“ The Factory at Franklin water tower โ€“ is turning from green to red. Painting starts this month and is just part of Holladay Propertiesโ€™ reimagining of the historic and storied shopping and entertainment destination.

โ€œAs is depicted in many pictures of the Franklin skyline from the past, the water tower was painted rusty 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 rusty red as the color of our new logo and as an accent color throughout the property. I also learned, from talking and meeting with people in the community over the past months, that many folks missed the red water tower,โ€ said Allen Arender, Holladay Properties executive vice president of development, who is leading the rebirth of the property.

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

The repainting of the water tower is the latest and most visible manifestation of Holladay Propertiesโ€™ overall renovation of the 10-building campus of The Factory at Franklin. The developers also recently released plans for creating a park-like outdoor gathering area beneath the iconic tower, readย here.

Other work underway includes the creation of a new โ€œgrand hallโ€ in the west end of the main building, which should be complete early next year. Work will also soon commence on build-out of space for recently announced new tenants.

Facts about The Factory at Franklin water tower:

  • 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 in the paint
  • Holds 75,000 gallons and is 110 feet tall
  • Is one of 69 water towers listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • The water tower was last operational when Jamison Bedding manufactured mattresses and sofa beds at The Factory, from 1961 to 1991
  • It was important to have a water tower on property for steam powered machines, for running water for the showers and in the event of a fire (Luckily, it was never used for the later purpose!)
  • The Factoryโ€™s landmark structure is an example of the โ€œTin Manโ€ style of riveted metal water towers that sprouted up in small towns across America in the 1920s and 30s
  • They are nicknamed for their shape: a face-like tub, conical with a hemispherical bottom, topped with pointed hat, reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz. As Franklin has, many communities have come together to save these monumental, iconic towers.
  • There was a story about a man who was doing maintenance around the drum at The Factory water tower but forgot a tool. He sent his friend down to grab the tool, and when the friend came back, the man had fallen asleep on the platform! They had to be careful waking him up, so they didnโ€™t startle him over the edge!

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About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.