A 57-year-old Annapolis landmark is about to get a fresh coat of paint -- and a $400,000 new look.
The Farragut tank doesn't resemble most of the water tanks in the region: squat, sturdy cylinders or pudgy tanks on spider legs. With its soaring, gracefully curving lines, the pale sky blue Farragut tank has been variously described as resembling a giant doorknob, a golf ball on a tee, a newly laid egg, or, more bluntly, an upside down onion.
Most people call it the Navy water tower because it rises above the trees next to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and prominently sports two Naval Academy logos -- a blue N with a star --each the size of a Times Square billboard.
Whatever you call it, early in August scaffolding will encase the Farragut tank. When the scaffolding is removed three to four months later, the tank will be sporting two new Naval Academy Athletic Association logos.
The tank is located on a small, fenced-in patch of land near the juncture of Farragut and Schley roads in the Admiral Heights neighborhood. Though the tank is owned and serviced by the City of Annapolis, the land under it belongs to the Naval Academy.
The gargantuan letter "N" accented with a star, both painted a solid navy blue, will be replaced with a new logo. A metallic gold "N" and star outlined in dark blue will sit atop the word "NAVY," also painted gold, rimmed with blue.
The tank itself will remain sky blue.
"It's the same color as before, but will look darker as the original paint has faded over the years," said David Jarrell, city public works director.
Brian Snyder, procurement officer for the city, said Farragut tank was constructed of carbon steel in 1959 and rests on a concrete foundation. It was fabricated by Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel.
The tank was last repaired and painted about 19 years ago.
Central Purchasing put out a notice this spring to contractors for bids by June 2, for "repairing and repainting the interior surfaces, interior dry surfaces, and exterior surfaces, with containment, of the 500,000 gallon steel elevated single pedestal spheroid tank, 'Farragut Water Tank'."
The $408,000 contract was awarded to the 50-year old Baltimore firm Manolis Painting Inc.
Jarrell said the Navy "N" logo has been on the Farragut water tank since about 1997.
"The Naval Academy Athletic Association pays the city the additional cost of painting the N logo on the tank," he said. "NAAA has updated their logo and has requested that the new logo be painted on the tank as part of the upcoming project. As before, they are paying the additional cost of painting logos on two sides of the tank."
The logos, included in the $408,000 cost of the project, cost about $15,000 each.
Officials with the association were not available for comment.