It’s About Time, Part II

“The hours of folly are measured by the clock; but of wisdom, no clock can measure.”
—William Blake (1757–1827, English poet)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

This ornate clock is in the lobby of 26 Broadway, former the Standard Oil Co. Building.

Walk About New York loves public clocks. This is our second article about the ones found in the Big Apple, either inside a building, or outside as part of a building, or as free-standing so-called lamppost clocks. First introduced in the 1860s, public clocks became popular with businesses looking for new ways to promote themselves, and with New Yorkers, who appreciated the convenience of knowing the hour of the day just by looking around them on the street.

Public clocks are so important that there is a New York-based organization dedicated to saving them from the wrecking ball or disrepair. The group, Save America’s Clocks (SAC), as of 2001 has preserved 30 cast iron lamppost clocks, several larger building clocks and a sidewalk clock. SAC was also involved in the preservation of several clocks in Boston and other cities, maintaining a state-by-state directory of repaired public clocks. Preservationist Tom Bernardin founded SAC, a tax-exempt organization. It appeals to cities and states for landmarks status for clocks. The organization has been chosen as part of Save America’s Treasures, part of the White House Millennium Council, which is administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

A much less ornate clock at the former headquarters of Standard Oil in Lower Manhattan.

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.”
—Sam Levenson (1911–1980, American humorist)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

Four New York Plaza was heavily damaged by Super Storm Sandy; but its clock is still ticking.

“By putting forward the hands of the clock you shall not advance the hour.”
—Victor Hugo (1802–1885, French novelist)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

The 1905 subway station control house is on our Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour.

“All my possessions for a moment of time”
—Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603, reportedly these were her last words, she reigned 1558–1603)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

Dating from 1910, 26 East 13th Street has a clock in one of its two bull’s eyes.

“Time, the avenger!”
—from “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”
by Lord Byron (1788–1824, English poet)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

One Park Row’s modern lines is out of keeping with its taller 1899 neighbor, 15 Park Row.

“Time, the devourer of everything.”
—Ovid (43 BC-AD 17, Roman poet)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

The 1915 Equitable Life Building, 120 Broadway, was once the world’s largest office tower.

“Perfection is the child of Time.”
—Joseph Hall (1574-1656, English bishop)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

The ornate clock at 28 Broadway is not easy to read.

“Procrastination is the thief of time.”
—Edward Young (1683-1765, English poet and playwright)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

The clock at the Astor Place Tower faces Astor Place.

“What do the ravages of time not injure?”
—Horace (65-08 BC Roman Poet)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery dates from 1799; but its steeple clock dates from 1979.

“Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.”
—Dionysuis Boursiquot (1820-90, Irish playwright)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

This more conventional clock belongs to the jeweler, William Barthman at 176 Broadway.

“You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh; The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.”
—from “As Time Goes By” 1931
by Herman Hupfeld (1894-1951, American songwriter)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

See this sidewalk-embedded clock on our Downtown Manhattan Tour.

“The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time.”
—William Butler Yeats (1865-1939, Irish poet)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

The 1931 General Electric Building, at 570 Lexington Avenue, is an Art Deco delight.

“Healing is a matter of Time.”
—Hippocrates (460-357 BC, Greek physician)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

The New York Times built 41 Park Row between 1888 and 1889, and remained there until 1903.

“Time goes, you say? Ah no! Alas, Time stays, we go.”
—from “The Paradox of Time” 1877, by Henry Austin Dobson (1840-1921, English poet and essayist)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

Built in 1927 as a bank, 407 Broadway still is a bank.

“Nae man can tether time or tide.”
—from “Tam o’ Shanter” 1791
by Robert Burns (1759–1796, National Poet of Scotland)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

The Great Garden Clock at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is by Rolex.

“What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”
—from “Leisure” 1911, by W.H Davies (1870-1940, Welsh poet, written when he was a homeless, jobless vagrant)

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

The 1907 Alexander Hamilton Custom House is a highlight of our Downtown Manhattan Tour.

Read our first article, “It’s About Time,” with its 18 photos of public clocks in the Big Apple. Public clocks figure into several of our walking tours. The Five Squares and a Circle Tour and the Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour feature well-known timepieces. Take the Tour; Know More.

Clocks, Time, Street Clocks, Public Clocks, Save America’s Clocks, Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Sidewalk Clocks

Since 1923 there has been a clock on the side of 62 Cooper Square.

ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT, EXCEPT CREDITED QUOTES, © THE AUTHOR 2017

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