Publix Cake Water Tower - Atlas Obscura

Publix Cake Water Tower

A towering, steel behemoth that has graced the skyline of Lakeland, Florida since the early 1980s. 


Nicknamed “the HydroCake” by the construction company Hydrostorage, Inc., this iconic water tower was built to provide support to the newly opened dairy processing plant, frozen food warehouse, and expanded bakery plant. And boy, does it do its job well—with the ability to deliver a whopping 250,000 gallons of water per minute.

But let’s talk about the real star of the show here: the cake itself. Standing at a staggering 146 feet tall, this tower is like the world’s biggest, baddest, most delicious birthday cake. And let’s not forget the candles—10 in total, each representing five years of Publix history. And that eleventh candle in the middle? That’s for the years to come.

This tower is made up of a whopping 2.25 million pounds of steel, secured by two tons of welding rods, and resting on a foundation of 170 cubic yards of concrete. It’s like the Hulk of water towers—strong, sturdy, and built to last. And those candles are no slouches either. Each one stands at a towering eight feet tall and weighs in at a solid 250 pounds. That’s like having 10 Shaquille O’Neals perched on top of your water tower.

But perhaps the best part of the Publix Birthday Cake water tower is the way it lights up the night sky. Every evening, the lights at the top of the tower turn on, and that center candle serves as an aerial blinker, like a delicious lighthouse guiding ships to safety. It’s a sight to behold, and one that has served as an iconic beacon in the Lakeland community for years.

The tower has become a symbol of the community and a beacon of hope for those who call Lakeland their home. It’s a structure that represents the strength and resilience of the people of Lakeland.

Know Before You Go

This water tower is near the Publix Bakery Warehouse by Gate 9. The best thing to do is pull off on the side of the road to see it. There is not a parking lot. 

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August 29, 2023

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