Downtown Residents Present New Gay Street Clock

Communications Deputy Director

Eric Vreeland
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Downtown Residents Present New Gay Street Clock

Posted: 12/04/2007
Downtown residents unveiled a new clock on Gay Street, to replace the historic Hope Clock, and presented it to the citizens of the City of Knoxville during a dedication ceremony Friday at 5:30 p.m. on the 400 block of Gay Street.

Mayor Bill Haslam took part in the unveiling of the new Gay Street Clock as well as representatives from the Central Business Improvement District and Knox Heritage. At Tuesday's meeting city council voted on a resolution accepting the clock as a gift.The new 12-foot-high timepiece will replace the old clock, originally installed in 1897 by Hope Brothers Jewelers that was a Gay Street fixture until the company that currently owns it removed the clock to a new location in West Knoxville in 2004.

The move prompted a group of downtown residents to begin fundraising efforts to buy and install a new clock - though it had to be a reasonable replica of the old one - on Gay Street and deed it to the city.That way no one could take this one away from downtown.

New clock downtown "A few of us were sitting around and said, 'Well, let's just raise the money and put a new one out there,' '' said Wayne Blasius, a downtown developer, who was part of the group that included Ann Marie Tugwell, John Worden and Chuck Morris.Blasius said that led to several donations in the $200 to $500 range, "but we wanted it to be a community project."

The group subsequently held a series of fundraisers at places like Preservation Pub, MacLeod's, Sapphire and the Downtown Grill & Brewery.

"There were a lot of $1, $5, and $20 donations in there and the point was that probably 200 people donated," Blasius said. "So there was a real sense of buy in about it."Dewhirst Properties is donating the installation of the clock and the city's Public Service Division will maintain it.

For more information about the Gay Street Clock please contact Wayne Blasius at 637-3400 or wb@insiteknoxville.comIn addition to donations from many interested citizens, the following organizations provided significant funding or in-kind contributions to the Gay Street Clock project: Bank East, CBID, Centre Square II, Courtland Group, Crowne Plaza @ Summit, Dewhirst Properties, Downtown Grill & Brewery, Gary Heatherly Photography, Gilreath & Associates, InSite Development Corporation, MacLeods, Morris Creative Group, Nama, Pittman Properties, Preservation Pub, Regas Restaurant, Sapphire, Segundo Properties, Ulrich Printing, Worden, Rechenbach & Brooke.