(Posted May 18, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
After an hour-and-a-half of preparation, Capital City Crane of Columbus took just a few minutes on May 16 to remove Plain City’s historic clock tower from its perch atop a building at 101 S. Chillicothe St.
The 16-foot tall, 4,100-pound structure was placed on blocks on a fenced lot just around the corner on East Bigelow Street, where much needed repairs will take place over the next several months. The public is welcome to stop by and watch the progress. The tower is scheduled to be returned to its perch in mid-September.
“Everything went very smoothly,” said Inge Witt, Plain City’s communications director, about the tower removal.
This is only the second time the tower has been removed for repairs and maintenance. The first time was in 1982. The tower was originally installed in 1902.
Phil Wright with Tower Clock Co. of South Charleston and Durable Slate of Columbus will complete the bulk of the repair work. Their task list includes tuning up the internal clockworks, returning the bell to working order, restoring the clock faces, repairing holes in the clock dome, replacing pulleys and cables, and replacing tin drip edges around the clock. The tower also will get a fresh coat of paint.
Crews are working from old photos to return the structure to its original look.
The estimated cost of restoration is $60,000. Uptown Plain City Organization raised $30,000 in private donations for the project. The balance will be covered by funds set aside in the state capital budget.