Logo by Chris Mercaldo

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sesame Place Water Tower News Report 2002

Over on YouTube someone posted a news video from 2002 that talks about the vinyl wrapping of the Sesame Place water tower.

The water tower is a familiar icon to residents of the area since it stands over interstate 95 and acts as a billboard for the park.
The video starts with file footage from August of 1993. First we see the water tower in it's blue (pre-Sesame) state. Then we see workers painting the Big Bird, Ernie, Bert & Elmo (and if memory serves, Rubber Duckie) portraits on the water tower.
We are told the process took 4 weeks.

The reporter, Don Polec (who is known for his silly reporting), is then shown "helping out". With trick photography we see that he painted a mustache on Big Bird.
Next, we see the image that will be "wrapped" onto the water tower by the Burton Imaging Group.
This project is taking "three weeks" and is being hung over top of the painted water tower.

The new image is photo realistic and includes Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Elmo (and a Fuji Film logo.) The grid pattern used to hang the sheets "like a jigsaw puzzle" is explained and Don unrolls a sheet containing Cookie Monster's eye.
We are told the tower is approximately 145 feet high and uses close to 20,000 square feet of vinyl. We are also told it's "the largest structure of it's type wrapped anywhere in the world."
The final moments see Don trying to affix a piece of the tower and dropping it off the scaffold.

I'm surprised it took 13 years before the water tower became a "billboard" for the park! It seems like such an obvious idea.
Seeing the "painted" version of the water tower again is wonderful. Pictures of it are really lacking on the internet. Personally, I prefer the painting, but I imagine to young children a large photo on the billboard is more exciting than an artist rendering.
You can watch the video by clicking here.

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