Two red tulips previously painted on the stack dated to 1987, when the design by Esther McLatchy was chosen by a panel of local judges. The design earned the landmark the moniker of “Tulip Tower” and landed it a place on the logo for the City of Mount Vernon.
Then the tower was slated to be demolished or cropped due to structural issues. The owners of the tower, the Potin Revocable Trust of Blaine, chose the latter, knocking about 30 feet off the tower. Several months were then spent questioning whether the stack would even remain standing, let alone be aesthetically restored. With the crop, the two red tulips adorning the stack were cut, causing a flaking, deteriorating and bloomless eyesore.
However, the trust agreed to let the city and locals help brainstorm ideas to rejuvenate the tower’s appearance, and a tulip motif was chosen to once again grace the landmark. Months of planning, donations and volunteers cam together to give the 90-foot iconic landmark a new painted tulip design. Tulips always seemed the natural choice for the tower, reflecting the city’s best-known commodity. The Board of Directors approved the proposal and residents
The Carlsbad somkestack is our landmark. Our Tower. Let it represent what we want as a coastal community that has looked to it for as long as most of us have lived here. Many of the residents of Mt. Vernon suggested the building at the heart of their city was once an eyesore and demanded its destruction. Now the attraction supports the heart of their community. The owners of the tower supported this but NRG continues a staunch resistance to even hear our proposals. NRG is not Carlsbad, we are.
Excerpts from Tulip Tower Blooms Again by Margaret Friedenauer