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Restored historic Ayres Clock unveiled

Historic downtown Indy clock to be restored
Posted at 6:03 PM, Nov 19, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – At the southwest corner of Meridian and Washington streets, lies a historic 8-foot-tall landmark set 29 feet above the sidewalk. You may have noticed its four faces – or maybe you were too busy shopping in Carson’s to notice – but Sunday afternoon, the Ayres Clock began to breathe new life once again.

Indiana Landmarks and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett unveiled the historic, 10,000 pound Ayres Clock.

Following the ceremony, a community photo was taken for the National Trust’s THIS PLACE MATTERS campaign.

The idea to restore to clock was brought to Indiana Landmarks’ attention by two members and the organization hoped to raise $60,000 to fully restore and maintain the clock. The goal was set Oct. 5 and was reached Oct. 26.

By the end of the campaign, 348 people donated to raise money for the clock’s repairs.

The bronze clock earned its name by its attachment to the former L.S. Ayre Department store that sat in the current downtown Carson’s location from 1905 to 1992.

According to Discover Indiana, a project of the Public History Program at IUPUI, Ayers Department Store served as, “a space for middle and upper-middle class white women to consume fashion and immerse themselves in beautiful surroundings where every detail had been designed with them in mind.”

The clock will begin running properly Sunday but cleaning and repairs - estimated at $14,000 - will begin in Spring 2017.

Another $20,000 will also go toward cleaning and repairing the clock’s bronze case and other funds will maintain the clock.

Indiana Landmarks officials said no one is sure of when the clock stopped working but for generations it has continued to serve as a downtown meeting place.