Decorative clock on display in downtown

Matthew Lane • Jul 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM

KINGSPORT — A new, decorative street clock is now on display in downtown Kingsport.

The 16-foot-tall, four-face clock is located in the roundabout at the corner of Broad and New Street near the Kingsport Public Library.

“I’m so proud of that clock,” said Sherri Mosley, executive director of the Downtown Kingsport Association. “It’s so beautiful, and I think it’s very classy. Any progressive downtown has a beautiful street clock.”

City officials have wanted a street clock in the downtown area for years. When attending a community planning seminar last year, city officials saw a display of products from the Verdin Company — a Cincinnati-based company founded in 1842, specializing in bronze bells, street clocks, glockenspiels and monuments.

Soon after, Kingsport purchased the clock at a sale price of $21,500. At the same time, the city also purchased two additional parklets for $12,167, with one slated to be installed on Market Street.

The clock was ordered at the end of December and was installed on Wednesday. The clock bears Kingsport’s name and year of incorporation. The clock is not wired to electricity yet since the work could not be done before the start of Fun Fest.

Mosley said the electrical work and the landscaping of the roundabout are expected to take place next week.

City Manager Jeff Fleming said the design of the clock is traditional and timeless, no pun intended, with an appropriate nod to Kingsport’s centennial year.

“In city planning, we call it ‘placemaking.’ For generations to come, people will use it as a point of reference,” Fleming said. “It will no longer be just a street intersection. It will be an important landmark for our citizens.”

In the lead-up to the clock being placed in the roundabout, Kingsport moved the sculpture that was located there — “Depth of Form” — to the corner by Regions Bank. The new street clock is a perfect balance to the clock located at the other end of Broad Street at Citizen’s Bank.

“It’s far enough away from Citizen’s Bank and their clock tower, we didn’t want to compete with theirs,” Mosley said. “We wanted ours to be far enough away and still compliment it, as well.”

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