Controversy swirls around Destiny USA water tower in Franklin Square

Franklin Square water tower

Neighbors first saw the green paint being applied on Wednesday - and they started worrying the historic Franklin Square water tower was about to become a giant Destiny USA advertisement, potentially spoiling the beauty and charm the neighborhood is known for.

Franklin Square resident Michael Loftus said "If it had something like welcome to Franklin Square on it, that would be one thing but if it's going to be a giant neon arrow pointing down the street to Destiny; that might be a little different."

"In my neighborhood I'd rather have it there as a historical piece. Reminds me of what went on there a long time ago, but to remind me that Destiny is down the road? I don't need that,â?? said another Franklin Square neighbor Gary Crawford.

On Thursday morning the City of Syracuse issued a stop work order on crews painting the water tower. The city's director of planning and sustainability says neither owner Bob Congel nor Destiny USA had filed the necessary paperwork to change the look of the water tower. Changing the appearance - even the color - of any structure other than a one, two or three family home requires a project site review application and approval from the city's planning board. if there was going to be a Destiny USA advertisement on the tower - that would also require approval from the landmark preservation board.

"If they wanted to paint it, there are reviews they would have to go through, describing what kind of paint they intend to use, the color scheme all those sorts of details - and there would be reviews associated with that,â?? said City of Syracuse spokesman Andrew Maxwell.

Destiny USA executive David Aitken says the crews were using earth tone green paint as part of steps to maintain and paint the tower. Aitken says if Destiny USA ever wanted to do "anything that would require approval in the future, we will secure that approval."

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