Patti Wenzel

What’s up with the City Hall clock?

By - Oct 26th, 2009 03:35 pm
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Milwaukee's City Hall clock, picture taken at 3:54 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, 2009.

Milwaukee's City Hall clock, picture taken at 3:54 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, 2009.

After years of restoration, the Milwaukee City Hall looks great, but don’t count on the clock to tell you the time of day. For the last few weeks it has been “High Noon” for all hours of the day, thanks to the clock’s non-working hands that are temporarily frozen in time.

According to Paul Fredrich, the city’s facilities manager, when the restoration of the building was underway, he and the project architects determined that portions of the original, circa-1896 Johnson Electric Co. clock needed to be replaced. New parts were ordered and added to the clock. But just like the streets of Juneautown and Kilbourntown, the parts didn’t fit correctly.

“The parts weren’t working together,” Fredrich said, “so, we stopped the clock.”

City Hall in 1901, photo public domain courtesy Wikipedia.

City Hall in 1901, photo public domain courtesy Wikipedia.

Fredrich said he sent a note to Mayor Tom Barrett and the city council informing them that the clock would read 12 O’clock for approximately six to eight weeks (that was at least two weeks ago). But the clock does continue to chime on the hour and half-hour, tolling the correct time.

So, until the clockworks are replaced at City Hall, it might be better to turn south and check out the Polish alarm clock atop the Rockwell Automation building.

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