Santa Cruz Town Clock

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Address Pacific Ave & Water Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Iconic town clock located at the intersections of Pacific Avenue, Water, and Front Street.


Tom Telfer's Take
A brief history of the "The Town Clock" in Santa Cruz. The original clock was built in 1873 and was part of the IOOF building. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
" It had four faces and was similar, yet a little different from the present clock. The first one escaped the great fire of 1894 which leveled almost everything in the block from Cooper Street north, and which took the brick courthouse. Then another devastating fire struck the down town May of 1899, and the town clock was so badly damaged it was practically destroyed. It had cost $1000 and was built by public subscription. "

A new clock was built above the re-built IOOF building. A bell tolled every hour and half hour for fifty years according to record. In 1964, the IOOF building was remodeled and the Clock was removed and put into storage until the 1970's when the City of Santa Cruz began restoration projects commemorating the Bicentennial. The clock was moved to it's current location where a base was constructed over the Fred Morris Memorial Fountain. The project was paid for in part by public donations. The final cost for the project was $120,000 when it finally completed in 1977.


On October 17th, 1989, the clock hands stopped at exactly 5:04pm after the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake. Today, there is a plaque that reads "In memory of those who lost their lives in the Loma Prieta Earthquake of Oct 17, 1989. Shawn McCormick, Robin Lynn Ortiz, Catherine Trieman."

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