Time turns the Lincoln Heights street clock in a different direction

The current issue of The Voice newspaper includes a feature on the return of the Lincoln Heights street clock to North Broadway. The 14-foot clock is a completely new version of the original, which was damaged by a film crew in 2006, with many of its parts picked off by scavengers, according to the paper and chamber officials. So, with about $41,000 in insurance money, a new clock resembling the old was built by the Verdin Co. and installed in February. But it didn’t take long for residents to notice that the new street clock was facing a different direction. The face of the new clock is perpendicular to the street and sidewalk; the original clock face was placed parallel to the street. The new orientation soon generated comments – both pro and con – on the Chanfles! blog:

“Yes they did put [the clock] facing the wrong way and it doesn’t look like
the original (they messed up big time) again it’s better than nothing.”

“Back in the day the street clock was used to attract business

in front of a jewelry store and I’m pretty sure the owner had enough time pieces in his jewelry store so there wouldbe no need to look at his street clock outside. So that means the clock we all knew and loved was facing the wrong direction.”

So, which direction was the original clock facing? Steve Kasten, president of the Lincoln Heights Chamber of Commerce, which is responsible for the clock, said that the current alignment most likely reflects the original placement. Kasten assumes that someone changed the direction of the old clock over the years but no one knows for sure, he told The Eastsider. “The history is really not clear.”

While many in Lincoln Heights are happy to see the clock back, even if it is facing in a different direction, some residents would have preferred a totally new look, including El Chavo at Chanfles:

“I was hoping they’d replace it with something modern,
like a big LED display that flashes the time, and maybe some text messages we could send to it. Now that would be fun!”

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