Clock ticking to raise money to repair historic Ayres clock in downtown Indianapolis

Ayres clock/Lee Mandrell

Ayres clock/Lee Mandrell

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A Circle City landmark needs your help to get up and running once again.

Officials with Indiana Landmarks hope to raise $20,000 to repair the historic Ayres clock at Washington and Meridian streets in downtown Indianapolis.

The clock, which many still refer to as the Ayres clock even though the L.S. Ayres store has been gone since 1992, hasn’t been working.

Officials with Indiana Landmarks said repairs from Smith’s Bell and Clock Company will cost $10,000. They’d like to use an additional $10,000 for maintenance and upkeep.

4 Fast Facts

  • Indiana Landmarks hoping to raise $20,000 to repair Ayres clock downtown
  • The iconic bronze clock was designed in 1936
  • It currently isn’t working correctly
  • $10,000 would go for repairs, the other $10,000 for upkeep and maintenance

Of course, the clock is ticking to make those repairs.

“By November 7, we want to raise $20,000 to fix the clock and create the maintenance fund,” said Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks.

The Nov. 7 deadline will give enough time to make repairs before an annual Indianapolis holiday tradition takes place: the placing of the cherub, which has been going strong on the day before Thanksgiving since 1947.

“It’s unfortunate that we’ve neglected a prominent landmark that was so important in lives of people in the city for decades. For generations, people met under the clock to go shopping, or to lunch or dinner,” said Paul Smith, president of Southeast Neighborhood Development.

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.

Anyone interested in donating can visit the Indiana Landmarks website. Donations can also be made by calling (317) 639-4534 or mailing a check to Indiana Landmarks, 1201 Central Ave., Indianapolis, IN, 46202.

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