City to fix downtown clock

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:06 PM

The city has identified a $25,000 project that will improve the big clock in the tower of First Reformed Church, 301 Washington Ave.

“I’m very supportive of taking this step in order to restore the face of the clock,” Mayor Geri McCaleb said. “I remember hearing about the town clock and that it needed to be repaired about 10 years ago.”

For more than 120 years, a public/private partnership has allowed city crews to maintain the clock, while the church has cared for the tower and the building.

"This is the city's clock and it deserves all of the tender love and care it needs," McCaleb said.

The church restored all of the stained glass in the church and the tower in 2006. They left the clock face out of the restoration project, as its face and inner workings remain a public responsibility.

While the clock works fine now, city officials say it is drafty, unsightly, and at risk of eventual breach and decay if the superficial elements are not soon repaired.

City officials applied for a $12,500 grant with the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation in October 2012 to fund about half of the project. The foundation is prepared to take up the grant again after it was put on a hold list following the October round of funding.

The planned improvement project would replace all of the glass and frame of the city-owned clock face. A six-week work period is proposed.

City officials allocated $2,500 from the city's Artifact Fund for the project.

“We’d then ask the town clock committee to see what they could do to raise that remaining money,” McGinnis said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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