Florence Y'all Water Tower – Florence, Kentucky - Atlas Obscura

Florence Y'all Water Tower

Florence, Kentucky

After a water tower painting was accused of being an ad, a simple fix was made that gave the city a motto. 


When a water tower was built next to and denoting the new Florence Mall, it raised concerns about being a large advertisement and thus breaking the law. But that was nothing that a couple of stripes and an apostrophe couldn’t fix.

The tower was built in 1974, with the words “Florence Mall” painted on the dome. The Bureau of Highways wrote to Florence’s then mayor, C.M. “Hop” Ewing, that the tower was advertising the mall and that since it was much larger than highway advertising laws, the paint would have to be redone. The mayor, along with civil staff, came up with an admittedly corny, but cost-effective, solution of just repainting the M to make a Y, then adding an apostrophe to make the “Mall” a “Y’all”—Southern American English’s second-person plural pronoun. The repainting took less than $500 and created a landmark.

While the tower has been repainted over the years, the unconventional fix still remains and has even lent its name to the Florence Y’all Festivals in the community.

Know Before You Go

The tower is visible from I-71/75 in Florence.

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