Historic 1899 clock face moving to RFD Museum
(ABC 6 News) – The historic 1899 clock face is moved to fire station 2 in Rochester Monday. The move will allow for the tower designers to examine the face and the public to catch a glimpse of it.
The historic Seth Thomas clock with its eight-day movement wound by a large crank, four glass dial faces, was installed in 1899 underneath the bell of Rochester’s Italian Renaissance Style, Central Fire Station, that was once located at Broadway and 4th Street SW. A location that Rochester founder George Head marked as the origin of the city.
This fire station was the finest in the Midwest at the time with the bell and clock tower being a source of immense community pride. In fact, the Rochester citizen’s themselves raised the $1200 needed for the tower’s clock. In 1930 the Central Fire Station was demolished due to city growth and the bell and clock entered into obscurity.
Through the years they were preserved and are ready to be restored to their former glory in a new clock tower located near the original site. This design is reminiscent of the original fire station and will once again serve as an iconic architectural feature of the city center gateway.
In recent years, Alan Calavano, “Mr. Rochester Historian”, provided for the clock and bell’s safe storage. Calavano also challenged the Rochester community with a $100,000 matching grant towards the Clock Tower restoration, the community did not disappoint but further funds are still needed to complete this project that honors Rochester’s past, present, and future.
With Fire Chief Eric Kerska at the helm of the “Bring Back The Clock Tower” project, the people of Rochester have the opportunity to preserve a piece of history, show their civic pride, recognize a new period of civic growth, and understand that remembering our past is essential to chart our future.
For more information on the Clock Tower project, click here.