Clallam to refurbish landmark courthouse clock in Port Angeles
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A state grant of $139,4000 will be used for repairs at Clallam County Courthouse in Port Angeles. Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County has received a $139,400 state grant to refurbish the iconic clock at the courthouse and make bare-bones repairs to other areas of the historical structure.

The 50-50 matching grant from the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is the third the county has received since 2010 to make repairs to the building that is nearly 100 years old.

“It’s been huge in helping us get this place in tiptop shape,” said Joel Winborn, county parks, fair and facilities director.

“This being the third and final phase of restoration, we should be good for another 10, 20 years.”

The cornerstone for the courthouse at 319 S. Lincoln St. in the county seat of Port Angeles was laid Oct. 16, 1914. The finished structure was dedicated June 14, 1915.

In 2010, the county used a $379,000 grant to repair the clock tower and replace the front entrance steps, renovate the main floor and resurface the red brick exterior.

The county received a $40,750 grant from the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation in 2012 to replace the roof and paint the main floor.

Winborn said this year’s grant will be used to refurbish the clock, fix the upstairs terrazzo floor, refinish the wooden handrails and repair the concrete wall along Lincoln Street.

“It’s the same grant source, but it’s a different grant cycle,” Winborn said of the historic preservation grants.

“They do it on a biennium.”

The design for the third phase will begin in about a month. The work will be finished by June 2015, Winborn said.

The E. Howard Co. Boston Model No. 2 tower clock system was designed and installed by German immigrant watchmaker Joseph Mayer.

It strikes the hours and half-hours on a 2,000-pound bell.

“It’s over 100 years old,” Winborn said of the clock.

“It’s in great shape. It still works and everything, but it still needs to be taken apart, cleaned and restored. It’s a pretty unique thing.”

Winborn said most people don’t realize what’s inside the clock tower.

“You can see the big clock face and the clock hands, but what’s making it all run is actually a pretty unique antique device,” he said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 24. 2014 6:57PM
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