As Columbus’ Bicentennial approached, the Downtown Residents’ Association of Columbus (DRAC) began discussing ways to help celebrate the big birthday. After discussing a variety of ideas with its members, DRAC decided to work to restore historic street clocks in downtown. They dubbed the project “Saving Time for the Future.”
Two clocks are being restored as part of the DRAC project, with a third privately-owned clock being restored by its owner who was inspired by Saving Time for the Future. Both clocks being restored by DRAC were removed from their locations in mid-November to begin their transformation. The first clock sat in front of the Church of Scientology at 30 North High Street, while the second was located inside COSI. The COSI clock had been located previously at 21 East Gay Street in front of the M.D. Hohenstein Jewelry Store and then the jewelry store’s second location in the Neil House. Both organizations have donated the clocks to the City of Columbus.
“DRAC members have been discussing ways that the organization can do its part to celebrate Columbus’ 200 years of history, culture, education, art, industry and progress,” said Susan Ungar, president of DRAC. “DRAC would like to restore these clocks to make them operational and bring them back to their original luster.”
The project has been a true partnership between DRAC, Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District and the City of Columbus. Capital Crossroads has acted as fiscal agent and project manager of Saving Time for the Future and will maintain the clocks after the restoration is complete. The City of Columbus is assuming ownership of the clocks and will provide assistance with removal and reinstallation.
“Partnering with DRAC on this project offered Capital Crossroads an opportunity to collaborate with a great organization and celebrate the city’s Bicentennial,” said Cleve Rickesecker, executive director of Capital Crossroads SID.
The clocks are being restored by The Verdin Company in Cincinnati and are expected to be completed in two to three months. The project’s total cost is estimated to be $50,000, and DRAC obtained funding from a number of organizations including the City of Columbus, Neighborhood Partnership Program, Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, Chase 200Columbus Grant, the Jeffrey Fund, Columbus Young Professionals and other donations.