The City's Biggest Lighting Ceremony
What: Dedication of the Minneapolis City Hall/Hennepin County Courthouse Clock, which has been undergoing a significant restoration.
When: Monday, April 24. Brief program in the City Hall Rotunda at 7:45 p.m. followed by lighting ceremony. After the program, we will gather on the U.S. Courthouse, Minneapolis Building plaza which is across 4th Street, to view the lighting, see time start ticking again and hear chimes go off at roughly 8:10 p.m. (sunset.)
Speakers (tentative): Municipal Building Commission Members - Hennepin County Commissioners Callison and McLaughlin, Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson, Minneapolis Mayor Hodges’ designee, and the vendor.
This will primarily be a media (and social media) event although anyone is welcome to attend.
About the Project: The restoration work included replacing the white clock faces with glass similar to what was originally in place when the building was constructed more than a century ago, removal of the steel framing and replacement with cast aluminum, and the replacement of neon lighting with historically accurate back-lighting.
The project budget is $2.6 million; final costs are expected to be approximately $2.1 million.
Rising to a height of 345 feet (400 at the tip of the flagstaff),the Clock Tower made the City Hall and Courthouse the tallest structure in Minneapolis until the Foshay Tower was built in the 1920s.
The clock faces measure 23 feet, 6 inches each in diameter, making this the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world.
Each minute hand is over fourteen feet long. It was once calculated that the tip of the minute hand travels 110 miles each year.
When the original backlit glass faces began to crack in 1949, a new set of metal clock faces with neon lighting was installed.
As restored, there are roughly 11,000 pieces in each of the four clock faces.