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When Will That Clock Tower In Gainesville Tell Time Again?

It's more than a mechanical failure that has caused the downtown Gainesville clock tower to be consistently out to lunch.

The roof of the clock cupola leaks.

And earlier this year, the clock stopped moving.

"We did get some reports that people weren't hearing the chimes at the proper times," Ed Gable said. He's in charge of the city's facilities and oversees maintenance of 100 city buildings. He started the job Sept. 1 and worked for two months to catch up on other problems for which his department is responsible.

Some of his focus now turns to the clock tower, which has two issues:

  1. The actual mechanism, which is more than 100 years old and previously lived in the old Alachua County Courthouse tower.

  2. The leaking cupola. Gable's team has not yet determined the precise source of the leak and how much will be required to fix it, though it could be related to the swinging pendulum, according to city spokesman Bob Woods.

Mostly stopped — the hand appears to have advanced 20 minutes since the June photo on the left to today.

The city will likely contract in the coming weeks with an architect to determine the extent of the work. Woods and Gable could not say yet whether the work would be extensive enough (more than $2,000) to require a competitive bidding process.

"We're going to contact the best people to do the repair on the clock," Woods said. "This is an emblem of the city. We want to make sure we repair it, but we want to make sure we do it right."

Morgan Rynor contributed reporting.

Ethan is the Managing Editor in the Innovation News Center, home to WUFT News.He is a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.
Ali is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.