Historic 1899 Clock Face Moves to Rochester Fire Station 2 Museum
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - One of the four clock tower 'clock faces' was relocated to the Rochester Fire Department Museum Monday morning.
According to a news release from the Rochester Fire Department, the face was relocated for towner designers to examine the face and for general public viewing.
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 located at Broadway and 4th Street SW. This was the location Rochester founder George Head marked as the origin of Rochester.
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 citizens themselves raised the $1200 needed for the tower’s clock.
Original Clock Tower Faces Ready to be Restored
In 1930 the Central Fire Station was demolished due to city growth and the bell and clock were removed. According to the news release, the clock faces 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.
The Rochester Fire Department organized the "Bring Back the Bell" project in 2015 and began raising funds to cover the $300,000 cost. According to a story from our News Director Kim David in December of 2017, the late local historian Alan Calavano pledged a $100,000 matching grant that has been fulfilled.
"The late local historian Alan Calavano had pledged a $100,000 matching grant and it was fulfilled Thursday when Fire Chief Greg Martin announced a $10,000 donation from First Alliance Credit Union. Martin says that final donation helped meet the match."
You can get more information on the "Bring Back the Bell Project" on the city's clock tower project's website.