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Hollywood tower goes for the natural look

How does a water tank that stands 150 feet in the air blend into its natural surroundings?

Why, with a beach and mangrove inspired paint job, of course.

In the next few weeks, four men will be tethered to the water tank just east of Hollywood’s West Lake Park, painting a beach paradise: aqua water, sand, beach umbrella and a patch of mangroves.

“We wanted to celebrate its natural environment,” said Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Storey. “We were looking for something that would blend in.”

The 50-year-old water tank just received more than $500,000 worth of maintenance work, including sand blasting and recoating the inside — a necessary expense every 10 years.

But rather than just painting the million-gallon tank a solid color with a logo, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency in December agreed to spend an additional $15,000 to make the tank a billboard of sorts.

“This will be the face of Hollywood tourism,” said Storey.

So how does one paint a water tower 150 feet in the air?

“Very carefully,” said Dennis Partridge, whose company Logo Pro is responsible for painting the intricate design. As drivers head east on Sheridan, they will be see the beach scene; those heading west will see the mangroves.

Partridge has traveled most of the East Coast from Maine to South Florida painting logos on water towers, but he said this design is “one of the more complicated ones.”

“It’s a lot of geometry,” he said.

The tower is being blocked into ten 25-foot squares — the distance between each of the tank’s legs. Partridge says they do the measurements on the ground and then try to graph it out on the metal surface “and connect the dots.”

The only thing that will be stenciled will be the letters that spell out “Visit Hollywood Florida.”

Storey said the city is hoping this tower is as eye-catching as the tank that sits off Sheridan Street and Interstate 95, which has been seen around the world.

A few years ago, that tank sparked concerns from residents when officials agreed to add a clock and temperature gauge that never worked properly. The timing of the expense was called into question because the city faced a $38 million budget gap.

But Storey said the vibrant water scene on the I-95 water tank has not only been a cover model — it was chosen as the paint company Tnemec’s tank of the year and appeared in its calendar — it is also a lot cheaper then getting a billboard.

A billboard, she said, can run about $7,000 for a three-month run.

Vice Mayor Dick Blattner said the beach and mangrove-inspired design is worth the $15,000 investment.

“I think when people drive by, they will smile and feel good about it,” he said.