Work to repair Indy’s iconic “Ayres Clock” begins on Friday, August 21, when crews will construct scaffolding at the southwest corner of Washington and Meridian streets.
The scaffolding will allow local craftsmen Brose Partington and John Klinkose to reach the 8-foot-tall, 10,000-pound clock mounted almost 29 feet above the sidewalk. Located on that corner since 1936, the clock is named for the L.S. Ayres department store that occupied the historic building for most of the twentieth century.
The clock is undergoing a second round of repairs to restore its luster and ensure its long-term viability. During the first round of repairs to the clock in 2016, workers discovered that the massive bronze box housing the clock’s mechanicals was in poor condition and leaking.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the project team plans to have the clock repaired in time to welcome the bronze cherub that appears on the corner each Thanksgiving eve to announce the arrival of the holiday season.
The clock is owned by the City of Indianapolis – Department of Metropolitan Development. Indiana Landmarks is leading the repair efforts and financing.
“I’m hoping that, as we struggle through some challenging times, the restoration of the Ayres clock will serve as a rallying point and reminder that, with TLC, things that matter will endure,” said Paul Smith, longtime Indiana Landmarks member and volunteer project manager for the clock’s restoration. “The clock has been a bright spot in downtown Indianapolis for nearly a century, and I believe it will be for a century more.”
A separate team of craftsman from Smith Bell and Clock Service will remove the clockworks, including the clock’s four faces and dials, and store them while the case is being restored.
When Indiana Landmarks launched the 2016 fundraising campaign to repair the iconic clock’s four faces and clockworks, which had not operated for years, the public responded rapidly. In just 24 days, more than 350 people and organizations stepped up to donate $60,000.
The next phase of repair is expected to cost approximately $65,000. People interested in contributing to the project can donate by visiting www.indianalandmarks.org/donate and noting “Ayres Clock” in the donation form, or by calling Indiana Landmarks at 800-450-4534.
Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit www.indianalandmarks.org.
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MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul Smith, Ayres Clock Restoration Project Manager, 317-432-0482, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen Schmits Thomas, email@example.com, 317-441-2487
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