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Restoration of Ayres clock resumes

Scaffolding is going up at the corner of Washington and Meridian streets for clock work that is expected to last into November.
Credit: Indiana Landmarks
The holiday cherub sits atop the Ayres clock in downtown Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS — Repair work is resuming on the Ayres clock in downtown Indianapolis.

Restoration crews will put up scaffolding at the southwest corner of Washington and Meridian streets for the work that is expected to last into November. 

The project team plans to have the clock repaired in time to welcome the bronze cherub that traditionally appears on the corner each Thanksgiving eve to announce the arrival of the holiday season. 

Installed in 1936 by the L.S. Ayres department store that sat on the corner for most of the twentieth century, the 8-foot-tall, 10,000-pound clock is undergoing a second round of repairs. In 2016, workers shored up the bronze box housing the clock, which is now owned by the City of Indianapolis.

Indiana Landmarks is financing and overseeing repairs, which local craftsmen Brose Partington and John Klinkose will perform. Workers of Smith Bell and Clock Service will remove the clock’s four faces and dials while the case is being restored atop the scaffolding.

Paul Smith is the volunteer project manager for the clock’s restoration. “The clock has been a bright spot in downtown Indianapolis for nearly a century, and I believe it will be for a century more,” he said in a statement shared Friday by Indiana Landmarks.    

This round of repairs to the clock are expected to cost around $65,000. The 2016 repairs were funded by donors, and Indiana Landmarks is taking further donations now. People can donate by visiting www.indianalandmarks.org/donate and noting “Ayres Clock” in the donation form, or by calling Indiana Landmarks at (800) 450-4534.

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