A new clock in Harlem marks the passage of time, but it also presides over a record of city leaders.
The clock was installed in front of Harlem City Hall thanks to a private donation.
“The clock is given by the Eugene Clary Foundation to honor the past, present and future mayors of Harlem, one of which was Gene Clary’s father, William C. Clary Sr.,” said a spokesman for the foundation, who wished to remain anonymous, but was active in the project planning.
The clock was installed in a concrete courtyard with a compass rose surrounded by a brick wall that will feature engraved names of each of Harlem’s mayors. It matches street signs, lampposts and other downtown improvements that were part of a 2007 streetscape project. A similar clock was included in the original project drawings, but was cut for cost savings, Mayor Bobby Culpepper said.
“We wanted it to be as visible as possible,” Culpepper said, “so we will have places to inscribe the names of future mayors. (We) always wanted a place to hold the swearing-in ceremonies for new mayors.”
The project used 1-percent sales tax money and other city funds to pay for $10,000 of the $60,000 project, City Manager Jason Rizner said. The foundation paid for the majority of the remaining cost, though Rizner said a few more donors made smaller contributions.
The idea has been in the works for more than two years. Construction began in January.
The clock will be flanked by granite markers engraved with information about the foundation and about the city. Landscaping and final touches still need to be installed, Rizner said.
“It’ll be a nice focal point for people coming into town,” Rizner said. “He wanted to honor (his relatives who served the city) and all past and future mayors of Harlem. He wanted this to be a living monument.”