Well, the Ayres clock at the southwest corner of Washington and Meridian streets is right eight times a day because it has four faces and none display the correct time.
Downtown residents Paul Smith, president of Southeast Neighborhood Development, and Mary Kummings, an Indiana Landmarks volunteer who lives in Lockerbie, have asked, “Why can’t we get the Ayres clock working again?”
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve neglected a prominent landmark that was so important in lives of people in the city for decades,” Smith said. For generations people have met under the clock to go shopping or to lunch or dinner.”
Vonnegut & Bohn designed the 1905 L.S. Ayres store and in 1936 Arthur Bohn designed the 10,000-pound bronze clock. Mounted on the building almost 29 feet above the sidewalk, the 8-foot tall clock gave passers-by the time from all four directions – when it worked. Now it’s just plain confusing.
Smith contacted clock experts and Indiana Landmarks, which signed on to lead the fundraising campaign. The cost to repair the clock is estimated at $10,000, and funds will be needed for annual maintenance. Contributions can be made by calling 639-4534 or at www. http://bit.ly/ayresclock. Organizers hope the clock is running by Nov. 23.
“In the beginning the clock was a promotional tool for the department store, but over the decades it has assumed a broader significance. And when the cherub comes to perch on the clock on Thanksgiving Eve – a holiday tradition since 1947 – we want to make sure he knows when to arrive,” says Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks.