City to fix downtown clock

Grand Haven officials are trying to come up with the money for the city clock atop a downtown church to keep ticking.
Alex Doty
Jan 22, 2013


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.



Wow more money wasted by the local government. Take a walk down Elliot Street once. The roads are in shambles it looks like Muskegon. The sidewalks are in shambles and after 2nd the sidewalk abruptly disappears into grass. Our sewer system needs an overhaul yet these clowns want to invest $25k into a private clock tower? For crying out loud, let the church who pays no taxes repair their own clock. The city only cares about Washington Street and it is evident by the way they ignore other neighborhoods.


You may want to reread the article(bottom third) concerning "these clowns want to invest $25k"....


Quote - "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."
Solution - Get plywood, cut circles, cover the drafty, unsightly clock, paint it, and be done with it. Everybody has a watch or cell phone with a clock on it; we have far more urgent needs to address than repairing a clock that nobody needs or uses.
Alternative solution - Leave the thing alone. It still works, the draft is free air circulation, and the look of it gives it the character of a well worn antique.
Alternative to the alternative solution - Sell it, or give it back to the church and let them deal with it.


Glad to see attention being given to local artifacts which, if unattended to would become more unsightly and expensive. These artifacts define Grand Haven as "home" to myself. They have been there as a staple while MANY other characteristics of our town may/have change and rearrange.

Joe Beets

The clock mechanism is a "Century Tower Clock" model that will be 100 years old next year. Now may be an appropriate time to review......
-Should we have a celebration? Not many products live up to such a billing!
-Should the mechanism be retired to a prominent location (safe from the elements) and put on display akin to the light house fresnel lens at the museum?
-Should the mechanism be replaced with current tech (programmable, volume control, night shut off, etc.)?
-To what use is the clock currently being put? (100 years ago, residents relied on it for the correct time. Today, correct time is readily available to all.)

Just wondering.....


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