City of Sioux City City Hall clock tower

One of the faces of the Sioux City Hall clock tower is shown with the older wooden hands in February 2005.

Journal file photo

SIOUX CITY | The clock tower at the corner of Sixth and Douglas streets has been counting away the hours for about 114 years now.

Perched high atop City Hall, the enormous analog timepiece displays the hour across much of the city's downtown area. It's been doing as much since its installation in 1900.

City Hall was constructed as a federal post office and office building from 1893 to 1897, at a cost of $240,000.

Originally constructed without a clock tower, George Perkins — then a congressman and the editor of the Sioux City Journal — lobbied for funds to build the structure. Through grants, Perkins was able to obtain the clock and bell at a cost of $2,380.

The building beneath the tower was designated as City Hall in 1948.

While the clock tower only faced a few repair projects over its lifetime, the structure was nearly scrapped in the 1990s, when inspectors determined it was beginning to lean.

The entire building nearly faced demolition due to the clock tower and other structural problems in 1994. Instead, the city opted to replace a large portion of the building, without sacrificing the clock tower or significantly changing its appearance.

During the reconstruction effort, the machinery inside the clock tower was replaced, and the clock's faces and arms were restored. Concrete was poured at the base of the structure to prevent further tilting.


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