Start digging in your couch cushions for change or pull out that emergency If The World’s Largest Bottle Of Catsup Ever Goes On Sale Imma Buy It fund you started all those years ago: Not only do you get an American landmark for $500,000 (and no, there isn’t any actual ketchup inside it, alas) but the warehouse property next to it in Collinsville, Ill. is also part of the deal.
According to the Belleville-News Democrat, the Brooks Catsup Bottle is 170 feet tall and has enjoyed the attention of a fan club that coordinates events year-round to celebrate the former water tower.
Those volunteers are hoping that whoever buys the bottle and the factory next to it will continue to celebrate ketchup. Excuse me, catsup (note: it’s the same stuff, just spelled differently).
“Hopefully new owners will come in who are preservation-minded,” said one volunteer who goes by “Big Tomato.”
“We really hope someone with its best interest at heart comes along,” he explains. “We’ve been brainstorming ideas for redevelopment of that block for years: a welcome center, a museum, a cafe, a park. There are all kinds of great ideas on what that property could turn into.”
The bottle started as a water tower for the Brooks Catsup Co. and was completed in October 1949. It was used to supply water for catsup production (and yes, it’s hard to keep typing “catsup”) and to run the fire sprinkler system for the plant.
But when the plant closed in the early 1960s, it was turned into a warehouse and the bottle stayed. It was restored in 1995 after a grassroots campaign to raise money for it. It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places, so whoever buys the property will be required to preserve it, most likely. And probably required to say “catsup” instead of “ketchup” for all eternity.
A $500,000 catsup bottle? Iconic Collinsville landmark for sale [Belleville News-Democrat]