After five months of intensive labor, the Memorial Building clock tower seismic renovation was completed in late October 2010. The project was engineered to reinforce the masonry structure. It required removal of the bell, which was restored and returned to its home, and installation of new clock faces. The front steps and reproduction front-entry doors harken to an earlier era. The structural and aesthetic improvements will help assure this Whitman monument remains standing for at least another 110 years, said Jeff Donahue, construction project manager.

— Photos by Greg Lehman

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Time for an Upgrade

Memorial Hall, 1903
The clock tower was built in 1899; the original clock installed in 1902.
Clock construction
A new electric clock mechanism replaced the original mechanical gears.
ConstructionDuring construction, the south side of Memorial was a beehive of construction activity.
ConstructionTo reinforce the tower against potential earthquake damage, steel rebar was fitted and about 8 inches of concrete (600 tons) was sprayed on the inside walls.
 
Panorama
The old bell was reset on a new mount made of original timbers.
CompletedThe clock tower was sandblasted to restore the brick face to its original look and color.
Clock workThe new clock began telling time on Sept. 16, 2010.