This week, I was given an interesting assignment at Bham Now.
Find all the Clock Towers in Birmingham.
Having reviewed, last December, Birmingham Children’s Theatre production of Peter Pan, I must confess, all I could think about during my quest to find clock towers in the metro area was that crocodile and the makeshift clock tower that ended Captain Hook’s life.
The clock towers of Birmingham may not be meshed with a crocodile, but in their own way, as part of our community, they are no less fantastical.
Here is what we found.
You can not write a story about clock towers without describing Birmingham’s three most famous “public” clocks that are located within 2 blocks of each other between First Avenue North and Third Avenue North.
John Hand Building
Located on 1st Avenue North and 20th Street, the century old John Hand Building, was once one of the tallest skyscrapers in the South. One fourth of Birmingham’s “heaviest corner on earth,” John Hand’s famous clock, located at the curved corner of the building was part of the entrance into the American Trust and Savings Bank. No longer the building’s “front door,” the clock remains a part of Birmingham’s most beautiful and photographed buildings.
Pizitz Food Hall Clock
The once flagship department store for Pizitz, located at 1821 2nd Avenue North, and built in 1923, we all now know the building today as the Pizitz Food Hall. The developers restored the clock inside the hall to continue the near century old tradition, directing patrons to meet “under the clock,” before they went shopping.
McWane Science Center – Loveman’s clock
We tend to forget that Birmingham had two massive department stores on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue North. Built in the 1930s, Loveman’s Department store had its own clock in front of the store that was a gathering place. Of course now it is part of the McWane Science Center.
St. Elias Maronite Church
Located at the doorstep of UAB, across from Bessie Estell Park, St. Elias Maronite Church incorporated a clock within its bellchamber in 1950. If you want to take a tour of the church, visit during their annual Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival in the Spring.
Samford University’s Harwell Goodwin Davis Library
Built in 1956, the Harwell Goodwin Davis Library is located near the center of the campus. The building was named after the university’s president during World War II and in the early 50s Major Harwell Goodwin Davis.
Birmingham-Southern College – The Edwards Bell Tower
The Edwards Bell Tower stands 85 feet high and is located on the academic quadrangle at Birmingham-Southern campus. Built in the 1990s was made possible by a contribution from William James and Julia Stacey Edwards of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Harbor Springs, Mich. The Edwards are Birmingham natives and Birmingham-Southern alumni.
Crestline Village Clock Tower
Built in the mid-1990s, the Crestline Village Clock Tower is a guidepost for a bustling commercial district that has shops and restaurants. The village is also home to the Mountain Brook Municipal Complex, Board of Education and the Emmet O’Neal Library.
Birmingham Public Library – West End
There has been a public library in the West End neighborhood of Birmingham since 1912. The current library with it’s clock tower was built in 2007 on the site of the Masonic Temple that has burned down a few years beforehand. The present library and clock tower is the center of civic events for the community.
Chelsea Residential Association Clock Tower
If you traveling on Highway 280, through the city of Chelsea, you probably noticed the 100 foot clock tower. The tower is part of a planned community in Chelsea, which is one of Birmingham metro’s fastest growing cities. It also tells Auburn football fans coming from a Saturday evening game, they are almost home.
What did we miss?
Did we miss any other clock towers in town? Feel free to email Bham Now at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will gladly do a Clock Tower Part II story.