Historic clock to stand 100 feet above Carillon Park

The famed Gem City-Callahan clock tower once seen by thousands of motorists will rise again above Interstate 75, although from a different vantage point this time.

Dayton History this week announced a $500,000 gift from the Dayton-based Robert Brethen Foundation to “lift the historic Callahan Clock into the air and return this well-known landmark to Dayton’s skyline.”

The money will go toward building not only a new tower for the clock, but a working railway station serving a rail line at the 65-acre Carillon Park. The tower is expected to stand around 100 feet in the air.

Brady Kress, president and chief executive of Dayton History, said the organization’s Carillon Park home has had the clock top — once with working clocks on four sides — since 2006.

MORENew York Times article on New Carlisle extremist brings condemnation

The new tower will be found at the western edge of Carillon Park, providing a view of the interstate and the Great Miami River.

The plan is to make it “interactive and interpretive,” allowing visitors to walk stairs to a viewing platform above the park, encountering educational panels,” the organization added.

“It’s to make this interactive, something they (visitors) can play with while they’re here,” Kress said. “What we’re calling for is for this thing to be raised high above Carillon Park and to allow people to climb up the tower, to allow people to come up underneath the clock.”

RELATEDIt’s History: decision to merge local group hailed 10 years later

If all goes well, a detailed plan will be ready in coming weeks, and the new tower could be raised by early next year — but there is no definite timeline at this point, Kress cautioned.

A plan for the architectural remnant has been on Dayton History’s radar since at least 2015.

The rail line — with a “Western boarding station” — is supposed to be an integral part of the plan. The line will go around the park’s historic areas. Much smaller tracks run by volunteers have long been in place at the park’s western end, but these planned lines will be much larger, Kress said.

“Everybody can get on in any time of the year and ride around the park,” he said.

Roll & Associates, Inc., along with Woolpert, are finalizing architectural and structural engineering designs, as Dayton History seeks additional funding and construction proposals for the overall project.

The first building the former clock was on dates back to the late 1800s. The clock was first placed on the Callahan office building, which later became the Gem City Savings building in downtown Dayton, where the PNC building stands today at Third and Main streets.

“When this clock was set on top of it, it really set it (the building) apart from other buildings downtown,” Kress said.

In 1978, the clock was moved to a Reynolds and Reynolds building in West Dayton near I-75. The city of Dayton asked Dayton History to take the clock in 2006 when that building was razed.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Student of the Week Urbana High School
Student of the Week Urbana High School

Name: Cassidy James School: Urbana High School Grade: 12 Age: 18 Extra-curricular: Softball, soccer and basketball Claim to fame/honors: Art Words you live by: “Every little bit helps.” Toughest challenge: Getting through senior year Biggest influence: My mom School-day rituals: Get up, eat breakfast, learn, go to practice, then come home...
Athlete of the Week Urbana High School
Athlete of the Week Urbana High School

Name: Kaleb Bowdle School: Urbana High School Grade: 12 Age: 18 Sports: Baseball, football Claim to fame/honors: Two time 1st team all CBC, 2nd team all CBC, honorable mention all Miami Valley, 2nd team all Miami Valley, 1st team all Miami Valley, two time Team MVP Maxpreps Ohio Athlete of the Week Words you live by: “Live life like a 3-1 count...
Opinion: Playboy comes to D.C.

Playboy Enterprises just announced that it has purchased a table at this year’s White House Correspondents Association dinner. Swell. Just what we need. The dinner, as you’ve probably heard, is an annual ritual of narcissism in which leading press figures don black tie and hope to see, or better yet, be seen with, Hollywood stars. Like...
This new piece of artwork at Jungle Jim’s is made entirely from jelly beans
This new piece of artwork at Jungle Jim’s is made entirely from jelly beans

Ten years in the making and it was so big it had to delivered by truck from California. To celebrate National Jelly Bean Day, there was a special unveiling of a very large jelly bean portrait of owner “Jungle Jim” Bonamino in the candy department of Jungle Jim’s International Market on Ohio 4 in Fairfield. After it was unveiled, Bonaminio...
Police: Miami Twp. officer hit on SB I-75 ‘awake but very sore’
Police: Miami Twp. officer hit on SB I-75 ‘awake but very sore’

The driver of a white pickup truck that struck a Miami Twp. officer is suspected of driving while impaired, said Sgt. Frank Edward Simmons Jr. of the Dayton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Traffic is moving on the southbound lanes of Interstate 75, and is expected to be totally reopened within the next hour. The Miami Twp. police officer who...
More Stories