Cary’s Rotary Clock stood on the southeast corner of the intersection of Academy and Chatham streets for more than 30 years – until it took a tumble a few weeks ago.
It didn’t take long before downtown residents, business owners and visitors started noticing the broken clock. Some posted pictures and comments on social media wanting to know what happened.
On Oct. 12, contractor J.M. Thompson Co. was completing the downtown streetscape project. While the sidewalks and roadways are fully open to traffic, minor work and repairs still remain. Trees and other plants also are being planted in the area.
Kyle Hubert, the town’s transportation engineering supervisor, said this plan was to remove a planter that surrounded the clock and replace it with brick veneer around its foundation to “make the sidewalk a larger more walkable area.”
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But the clock fell over when the contractor was digging to install the foundation for the brick veneer.
While the lenses and faces of the clock broke, Hubert said it looked like the clock “really fared well.”
The clock has been removed and sent to The Verdin Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, so that it can be repaired. The contractor is paying for the repairs, Hubert said. A date hasn’t been set for its return.
The downtown fixture is called the Rotary Clock because the Cary Rotary Club and the Cary Central Rotary Club donated it to the town in the early 1980s. The fixture, with the face of a clock on four sides, bears the Rotary Club emblem.
Ralph Ashworth, a longtime Cary resident and Rotarian, said the two organizations raised the money needed for the downtown fixture “through a lot of hard work and a lot of events.”
The clock used to share the downtown corner with another Rotary Club purchase – a statue known as “the Little Newsboy,” which was moved last year to create more useful space for the Kitchen and Bath Galleries store adjacent to it.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon