Finally -- A Public Time Gallery at NW&CM!

Discussion in 'Tower, Monumental & Street Clocks' started by FDelGreco, Jan 26, 2020.

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  1. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    In November of last year, I spent time with Al Dodson, the interim curator of the NW&CM, looking for a place in the museum where we could display the Ansonia street clock (“Quincy”), once restoration is complete. The floor under the museum proper is concrete with no basement, so weight isn’t a problem. The ceiling in a few places is high enough to stand up the post (which is 12’-3” tall), with the head located on a stand next to it and the movement on its own stand next to the head, powering the dials. (No place in the museum has a ceiling height over 19 feet to display the clock assembled as you would find it on a street.) It turns out that the Stonehenge gallery, which is the first gallery that one enters when going into the museum, is the best place as it has a very high ceiling with few beams, heating ducts and roof trusses in the way.

    As the BOD was meeting during my time there, Al and I brought Rich Newman (board chair) and Philip Morris (director and museum collections committee chair) to the gallery to show them the ideal spot and what we wanted to do. Well it turns out that none of us ever liked the Stonehenge gallery at all, as the “rocks” are plastic and most of the museum pieces displayed there are reproductions. So we agreed that we will clear out the gallery and convert it to a “Public Time” gallery. We will move into that space the six tower clocks that are located in the small display area in another gallery and also pull out of the back room all the tower and street clock movements located there (I think I counted 12), add Quincy, and create a first rate Public Time gallery in the old Stonehenge gallery. We have about 1,200 square feet of floor space and about 96 linear feet of wall space. It will be great!

    Not all the tower clocks in the back room are capable of running, but the goal is to get as many as possible ticking. We may also reuse display cases from the Stonehenge display that will hold smaller artifacts like motion works, bevel gear sets, transmissions, etc. The result will be a “sensory delight” to visitors as they first enter the museum and hear loud ticking, the clanging of bells, and see the whirling of fans.

    Although complete restoration of Quincy may take quite a while to finish as progress is based on donations, work can start on the Public Time gallery right away. Al and I have been developing work plans and kicking around ideas to make the gallery exceptional. Al will also be cleaning up the movements in the back room and getting many of them to run.

    The carpet in that gallery needs to be replaced as there are some bad stains and 20 year old impressions from the “rocks” and display cases. Unfortunately, it’s glued to the floor rather than stretched between tack strips. I suspect it’s going to need to be removed by professionals.

    We’d like to replace the carpet with a wood floor so clocks don’t rock as they would on carpet and it’s more realistic of what you’d find in a clock tower.

    The walls will have to be repainted once the current posters are peeled off (they’re glued on).

    As the current NAWCC budget is very tight, we’re going to need some donations for the flooring and paint to get us going. We already have about $7,800 in donations and another $7,500 will arrive in the next couple of months. We could use some bells (6 – 10” diameter) and winding cranks so if you have some and don’t need them, you could donate them for a tax deduction. Tax-deductible donations of cash or stocks can be made to the Public Time Gallery account that is set up at HQ.

    Thank you in advance!

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  2. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Thanks for the update, Frank. Will the clocks out in the rotunda area also be moved in to become part of the new public time display? If not, will there be verbiage added to the signage of the clocks in the rotunda to draw people in to the new display, and vice versa?

    Pat
     
  3. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    Pat:

    The big Schwalbach and others will be relocated to the gallery, but the Eberman, since it is significant to Lancaster county, will remain in the rotunda. (That's our current thinking.)

    Frank
     
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  4. scootermcrad

    scootermcrad Registered User
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    Very cool! Thanks for the update!
     

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