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Tulip Stack Blooming Brightly
March 10, 2022

Mount Vernon’s iconic “Tulip Stack” is all spiffed up and ready to greet visitors journeying here during April, thanks to the work of the City of Mount Vernon, Jose Cardona of Cardona & Sons Painting and Birch Equipment. We think you will enjoy the new look.

Jose Cardona first became involved with the tulip stack over a decade ago when we decided the stack needed a facelift and “replanting of the tulips” Mount Vernon artist Esther McClatchy created the design with tulips twining around the stack next to the Carnation Building along the Skagit River. She then made a model of her design to the scale of the “Tulip Stack” and handed it off to Jose Cardona (who just happened to show up at the Tulip Office one day saying, “I can paint the Tulip Stack.”

Armed with lots of paint, rollers, Esther’s design, an artist’s eye and no fear of heights, Jose took the scale model and painted the design on the Tulip Stack. He has also journeyed up the stack once before to freshen the image.

Esther and Jose also teamed up in 2014 for Monroe, Washington to design and paint the image for the stack along Highway 2.

A bit of trivia: Why is the building called the Carnation Building — not because of flowers! Because of MILK! There was a Carnation Condensed Milk plant right there in the building along the river — farmers would deliver their milk (sometimes via boats) and then the milk was processed and sent along to be sold to grocery stores around the country. Hence the need for the smokestack. And, yes, the railroad tracks were there for a reason!