Repairs to start next month after successful fundraising campaign for downtown’s Ayres clock

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Ayres clock/Lee Mandrell

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mission accomplished.

A crowdfunding effort to restore an Indianapolis landmark exceeded its goal. Earlier this month, Indiana Landmarks launched a campaign to raise $20,000 to repair the historic Ayres clock by Nov. 7. After taking a closer look at the clock and the needed repairs, that goal increased to $60,000.

“More investigation revealed that the 1936 clock was originally lit from within,” said Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks. “We found that the bronze case needs repair and cleaning, and periodic maintenance, just like the clock, so we increased our goal to $60,000. With contributions and pledges, we reached the goal on Oct. 26, in less than a month.”

Davis said it was the fastest restoration campaign in the group’s history.

The donations mean the 10,000-pound clock will get new movements, a controller, properly balanced hands and four new faces that are replicas of the originals. The clock will be lit from within and telling the correct time by Nov. 23, just in time for the famous Cherub to make its appearance for the holiday season.

More than 340 donors contributed to the restoration campaign.

Arthur Bohn designed the 80-year-old clock in 1936. The bronze, eight-foot-tall clock is positioned nearly 29 feet above the sidewalk and displays the time in four different directions.

Even though the L.S. Ayres store has been gone since 1992, most people still refer to the iconic downtown landmark as the Ayres clock. Repairs from Smith’s Bell and Clock Company will begin on the week of Nov. 7.

Indiana Landmarks is working with the city to plan an event to unveil the restored clock next month. Details of that event will be posted on the group’s website.

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