Western NY town wants to turn water tower into giant hamburger for obvious reason
A town in Western New York wants to turn its water tower into a giant hamburger.
Why? Because it’s Hamburg, N.Y.
WIVB reports the Hamburger Water Tower Project was first approved by the town board in December 2017 and a design was unveiled in November 2018, showing the Hamburg water tower painted to look like a hamburger. Besides the obvious reason of fitting the town’s name (and its history with the hamburger’s origin), organizers are hoping it will foster economic development through tourism as the water tower is visible on the New York State Thruway near the Hamburg exit (57).
According to WGRZ, $60,000 was initially raised for the project but plans were put on hold when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
“We have a community share for our matching funds of about $60,000. We’ve raised about $10,000 prior to the pandemic. We just got started with our fundraising, and then we kind of got shut down,” Chris Hannotte, chair of the Hamburger Water Tower Project, told the Buffalo TV station.
Now fundraising efforts are being relaunched at BurgerFest, a food festival scheduled this Saturday, July 16, in the Village of Hamburg Municipal Parking Lot. The all-day event features a variety of foods, including burgers, plus kids’ activities, inflatable rides, an arts and crafts show sale, a beer tent and the Classic Car Show.
Attendees are invited to donate, bid on raffles for Buffalo Bills memorabilia and get Hamburger Water Tower T-shirts signed by artist Dylan Cownie. Hannotte said she’ll be wearing a hamburger hat at the project’s tent on the BurgerFest grounds.
Supporters can also donate online at hamburgerwatertower.com.
According to the project’s website, the total cost is expected to be $500,000, most of which is towards needed restoration of the tower due to deferred maintenance since the Town of Hamburg purchased it from the Erie County Water Authority because it was no longer in use.
Hamburg plans to promote itself as the “home of the Hamburger,” based on the story of Charles and Frank Menches, two brothers from Ohio who allegedly invented the hamburger at the Erie County Fair in 1885. The true invention of the popular food item has often been debated, but it’s said the Menches were serving sausage patties when they ran out, and had to switch to ground beef. Legend has it the meat patty between two buns instantly became a hit, and they named it a “hamburger” because they were in Hamburg.
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