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City Still Looking For Solution To Repair Historic Downtown Clock

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The historic Seth Thomas clock located in downtown Gainesville has stopped at 12:08.

The clock, located at the intersection of East University Avenue and Northeast First Street, stopped ticking on June 25.

It has been determined the necessary repairs cannot be made quickly, according to a City of Gainesville news release. The city is currently considering all possible avenues to get this historic landmark working again.

The downtown clock has frozen in time. Currently the city is reviewing all avenues to resolve the problem but does not have a time table yet for the clock to start ticking again.
The downtown clock has frozen in time. Currently the city is reviewing all avenues to resolve the problem but does not have a time table yet for the clock to start ticking again. Scott St. Lifer / WUFT

“Since the press release has been out, we have received a number of inquiries from a number of clock vendors and people who have got expertise in the area,” said Fred Murry, assistant city manager.

George Tucci of Clocks and Collectibles in Crystal River is a second-generation clock repairman and is among the group of individuals inquiring about the clock. He said he is familiar with the clock because he fixed its pendulum roughly 10 years ago.

Tucci heard about the clock’s damage from a friend and is waiting on a response from city officials to see if he will be involved in the downtown clock repairs.

Before a repair plan is selected, the city needs to determine the extent of the damage, Murry said.

The clock is deeply rooted in the history of Gainesville. The city erected its second courthouse in 1884 with a clock tower housing the clock.

The city demolished the building in 1958 to clear space for the current Alachua County Administration Building. But horologist Theodore Crom, who studies the art of measuring time, saved the clock.

Crom restored the clock in his private workshop. He tracked down an original pendulum from an 1884 Seth Thomas model and an original set of motion assembles. The current tower the clock resides in broke ground in 1983.

Now, city officials are trying to find the root of the problem before they will take any further action

Until this happens, the clock will remain out of commission.

About Scott St. Lifer

Scott is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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