EDWARDSVILLE - The public celebrated a Clock Tower Rededication and witnessed a time capsule opening on Saturday in Edwardsville in the 200 block of North Main Street. The City of Edwardsville's Historic Preservation Commission hosted a rededication of the Edwardsville Clock Tower - 25 years after it was built.
The Clock Tower Rededication also celebrated the 100th anniversary since the historic Edwardsville National Bank Clock, which hangs at the tower, was first erected in the City. The event was well-attended by Edwardsville residents and those around the region. A time capsule that was embedded in the tower when it was built in 1998 was opened and the contents were revealed during the event, which coincides with National Preservation Month.
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The clock was a fixture on the Edwardsville National Bank Building at St. Louis and North Main streets for nearly 70 years. It was purchased for the newly constructed building that rose five stories into the downtown skyline in 1923. The clock weighs approximately a ton and spans 8 feet in height and about 4 feet in width. When the Edwardsville National Bank Building was razed in 1990 and the legendary clock disappeared into storage - however, because of a dedicated group of history buffs and preservationists, it has stood the test of time.
In 1996, local businessman Bill Philippe found the clock where it was being stored and turned it over to the Historic Preservation Commission, which had been established in 1977 to help maintain the city’s historic character, particularly its architecture. Debbie Caulk, who retired from the commission in 2018 after serving on it for 39 years, offered to store the clock while its future was determined.
A huge fundraising effort occurred, with residents, the City of Edwardsville, businesses and even a state grant ultimately adding to the collection to build the tower. Along with that, a time capsule campaign kicked off to collect memorabilia, personal messages from residents, and other items that were sealed into the tower when it was dedicated in October 1998.
A bronze plaque on the tower indicated that it would be opened in 2023. A new time capsule will be created and sealed in the tower later this year. The Historic Preservation Commission will install a new plaque to designate the next rededication, to take place sometime in 2048.
Cathy Hensley, the public relations person for the City Of Edwardsville, said: "There will also be opportunities for folks to share their thoughts and wishes for the future on postcards that can be added to the stash of new time capsule items."
Edwardsville Municipal Band members performed just ahead of the event to welcome those who attended the event and added to the ambiance of the event.
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