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Americlock Completes Historic May Company Ohio Building Clock Restoration

By Americlock -

Original Historical May Company Clock on Brick Surface
Original Historical May Company Clock on Brick Surface

Americlock is well known for designing and fabricating amazing, large clocks around the United States and throughout the world. We’re also known for our specialization in historic clock restorations which takes knowledge and an appreciation for how to bring back what was once yesterday to today.

Finishing another historic clock restoration project, Americlock recently added the former May Company Ohio building to its list. Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the building (short of its last two floors) was built in 1914 and in 1931 the sixth and seventh floors along with a landmark clock were added to the structure.

While The May Company no longer exists in its form today, having merged with Kaufmann’s in 1993 following a 95 run, the clocks still adorns the original building. Originally cast in bronze, the clocks feature glass inserts that were broken over time with the balance being removed to protect them. Given their sad state of disrepair, Geis Companies wanted to the clocks to their former condition and contacted Americlock as part of their condo building project.

Some projects of this nature can be completed onsite. Americlock evaluates each historical clock restoration project on a case by case basis to determine the most appropriate approach. In this case, the wear and damage to the clock faces was so extensive that an on-site repair would not yield the desired results and our team picked them up, bringing them to our St. Louis headquarters for restoration.

Clock Restoration Completed Look
Clock Restoration Completed Look

After removing the putty that held the original glass, layers of old paint were media-blasted to reveal the underlying surface. New primer and paints in satin black were applied to replicate the original appearance. Given the site’s location near Lake Erie, new white polycarbonate inserts were installed to withstand the extreme wind and cold coming which is visible from the clock tower.

The original clock hands were constructed with wood, a relatively practical material without ongoing maintenance so Americlock replicated them using reinforced aluminum which were then balanced and coated in the same color as the clock faces. Custom brackets were fabricated to bolt the clock faces into the brick instead of the terra cotta surround.

Once the restoration process was complete, the clocks were dispatched to site. The 900-pound crate was brought up in a freight elevator to deliver the now-restored historical clocks to their final resting place. Topping off their restored appearance, new white LED light panels were installed from the backside, adding additional utility to the clocks.

In a testament to their time, the clocks now once again keep watch over the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Public Square, downtown Cleveland.

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