INDIANAPOLIS — The Ayres Clock, a landmark of downtown Indianapolis since 1936, will undergo its second round of repairs since 2016 to restore its luster and ensure its long-term viability.
The clock, which is owned by the City of Indianapolis – Department of Metropolitan Development, will be temporarily removed from its spot on the southeast corner of Washington and Meridian Streets in early February.
“The clock will be removed from the building and taken to an off-site facility for restoration, so things will look a little bleak on the historic corner until the work is done,” said Paul Smith, longtime Indiana Landmarks member, and volunteer project manager for the clock’s restoration.
“But don’t be alarmed!” Smith added. “When we’re finished, the clock will be better than new.”
Named for the L.S. Ayres department store that occupied the corner of Washington and Meridian Streets for most of the twentieth century, the Ayres Clock was once the place where people met to go shopping or eat downtown. Now, it is the perch for the bronze cherub that appears every Thanksgiving eve to announce the start of the holiday season.
During the first round of repairs to the clock in 2016, workers discovered that the massive bronze box housing the clock’s mechanicals was in poor condition and leaking, according to Indiana Landmarks. The new round of repairs will address the leaks and conserve the bronze case.
The completion date of the project depends on the contractor’s schedule, but Indiana Landmarks said it hopes the project can be completed in time for the holidays.
(Photo provided by Indiana Landmarks.)