Clock towers have important meanings for the city or country they are in. Clock towers are sometimes a memory in our photographs, sometimes a meeting point, and sometimes a beautiful visual structure for us to learn the time we need. Clock towers reflect the architectural structures of the countries or cities they are in. Some clock towers also smell of history. It has survived from the past to the present. Today we take a look at ten of the tallest clock towers from around the world…
Wrigley Building – (133.5 Meters) (USA)
WIKI: The two towers are of differing heights, with the south tower rising to 30 stories and the north tower to 21 stories. On the south tower is a clock with faces pointing in all directions. Each face is 19 feet 7 inches (5.97 m) in diameter. The building is clad in glazed terra-cotta, which provides its gleaming white façade. On occasion, the entire building is hand washed to preserve the terra cotta. At night, the building is brightly lit with floodlights.
Central Do Brasil – (135 Meters) (Brazil)
WIKI: The Central Bank of Brazil is located on the edge of the center to the neighborhood of Gamboa, at the Avenida Presidente Vargas, one of the main city of Rio de Janeiro. In the nineteenth century the Central Bank of Brazil was the station’s original railroad Dom Pedro II system, which extended to the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo.
Custom House Tower – (151 Meters) (USA)
WIKI: The clock on the upper tower of the building is 22 ft (6.7 m) in diameter. It was started at noon on April 6, 1916. The clock cost $2,500. Its hands are made of gold leaf painted California redwood and weigh 101 and 141 pounds respectively. Because of an undersized motor, the clock failed to work properly through much of the 20th century. In 1960, the Great Seal of the United States was painted in the lobby’s dome.
Williamsburg Saving Bank Tower – (151 Meters) (USA)
WIKI: Above the 30th story, One Hanson Place’s massing shrinks to a square tower with large clock faces on each side. Corresponding to the 34th through 36th stories (floors 30–32), the clock faces originally contained bright red neon tubes. The clock faces measure 27 feet (8.2 m) across. When the clock was first illuminated in 1928, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle claimed the clock faces could be seen from thirty miles away. At the time of the building’s construction, the clock was the largest in New York City and among the largest in the world. The center of each clock face is 430 feet (130 m) above the street. Each hour hand measures 9 feet (2.7 m) long while each minute hand is 15.75 feet (4.80 m) long. The hour hands each weigh 294 pounds (133 kg) and the minute hands weigh 523 pounds (237 kg). There are dots in place of numerals. Twelve lamps illuminate each clock face at night. During the mid-20th century, many of the borough’s residents set their wristwatches to the clock.
Mercantile National Bank Building – (159 Meters) (USA)
WIKI: In 1947, an illuminated tower was constructed, which KERA used for radio broadcasts. In 1958, this tower was replaced by the current illumination tower and clock. In the 1960s, the original stone façade at the base of the building was covered by a modernist curtain wall facade. At its completion, the Merc was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River and it was the tallest building in Dallas until 1954, when Republic Bank Tower I surpassed it. The building has 31 stories, and when the 115-foot (35 m) ornamental clock tower is included, is 545 feet (166 m) feet tall; making it the 19th-tallest building in Dallas.
Philadelphia City Hall – (167 Meters) (USA)
WIKI: It was the tallest clock tower in the world when it was completed; it was surpassed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower in 1912 and is currently the 5th tallest building of this type. The tower features a clock face on each side that is 26 ft (7.9 m) in diameter. The clock faces are larger in diameter than those on Big Ben which measure 23 ft (7 m). City Hall’s clock was designed by Warren Johnson and built in 1898. The 1937 Philadelphia Guide noted that “shortly after the clock was installed the city inaugurated a custom which still continues. Every evening at three minutes of nine the tower lights are turned off, and then turned on again on the hour. This enables those within observation distance, though unable to see the hands, to set their timepieces. There are four bronze eagles, each weighing three tons with 12 ft (3.7 m) wingspans, perched above the tower’s four clocks.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower – (213 Meters) (USA)
WIKI: The South Building’s tower was designed by the architectural firm of Napoleon LeBrun & Sons and erected between 1905 and 1909. Inspired by St Mark’s Campanile, the tower features four clock faces, four bells, and lighted beacons at its top, and was the tallest building in the world until 1913.
3. Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science – (230.7 Meters) (Poland)
WIKI: Four 6.3-metre (21 ft) clock faces were added to the top of the building ahead of the millennium celebrations in 2000. The clocks began working on 31 December 2000.
2. NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building – (240 Meters) (Japan)
WIKI: To commemorate NTT Docomo’s 10th anniversary, a 15-meter-diameter clock was put into operation in November 2002. Solar energy is partially used to power the building. A garbage separation system employed within the office helps to reduce waste and increase the recycling rate. The waste water is recycled for reuse, and rainwater is reused for the building’s toilets.
1. Tower Abraj Al Bait – (601 Meters) (Saudi Arabia)
WIKI: The project uses clock faces for each side of the main hotel tower. The highest residential floor stands at 370 m (1,210 ft), just below the media displays under the clock faces. At 43 m × 43 m (141 ft × 141 ft), these are the largest in the world. The roof of the clocks is 450 m (1,480 ft) above the ground, making them the world’s most elevated architectural clocks. A 151-metre-tall (495 ft) spire has been added on top of the clock giving it a total height of 601 m (1,972 ft). Behind the clock faces there is an astronomy exhibition. In the spire base and the iron-covered floors (The Jewel) there is a scientific center which is used to sight the moon in the beginnings of the Islamic months, and to operate an atomic clock which controls the tower clocks.