REMEMBER THIS: 'Old Reliable' keeps spinning in the Main Street tower

REMEMBER THIS: ‘Old Reliable’ keeps spinning in the Main Street tower

(9 pics) Historical past Hound Richard MacLeod opinions the historical past of the Clock Tower constructing, Newmarket’s longstanding publish workplace since 1915, because it undergoes its present transformation right into a boutique lodge

With the outdated Newmarket Put up Workplace constructing again within the information I assumed it may be value reviewing among the details behind the heritage clock tower as a part of its restoration as a boutique lodge.

The primary publish workplace was situated on Most important Road South at Water Road, the place Cousins ​​Dairy was as soon as situated. You’ll recall that William Roe, our first postmaster, operated a normal retailer (buying and selling publish), which served as a publish workplace in 1814.

It then moved north two buildings. His subsequent cease was 30 Most important on the west facet, the place he shared a constructing with J. Norris West’s barber store. It moved once more to the Bell Phone Firm location north of Park Avenue on the east facet across the 4 Seasons.

The publish workplace finally discovered a everlasting dwelling at its present location. There have been three buildings simply north of the Simpson constructing which have been demolished in Might 1914 and the brand new constructing, the clock tower, was accomplished on April 1, 1915, however for some cause the constructing remained unoccupied till at its inauguration on November 24. 1915.

The plans, which accompany this text, present the truth that the publish workplace was constructed on stilts as a consequence of groundwater, a part of a sequence of artesian wells which had lengthy fed an historic pond on the positioning and within the automotive park adjoining to the publish workplace.

The unique publish workplace consisted of the constructing that confronted Most important. A two-story addition was added to the rear of the prevailing constructing in Might 1955, extending 89 ft alongside Park to the west, with a depth of 60 ft.

The primary flooring of the addition would broaden the area out there for the publish workplace, whereas the second flooring would home the Division of Veterans Affairs and the Unemployment Insurance coverage Fee.

The prevailing 1915 constructing was renovated on the primary flooring, and on the second flooring there have been new premises for the Division of Nationwide Income and Customs and Excise. The prevailing constructing would have new ashlar going through as much as the bottom flooring and brick the remainder of the best way. New stone trim was added across the home windows and entry platforms and the steps could be granite. New aluminum home windows have been put in within the stairwells, whereas all different home windows have been wooden.

The outdated clock within the publish workplace tower appeared to run completely till 1959 when the clock was disassembled and 45 years of filth, grease and oil eliminated when the clock broke down . Yates Jewelers was entrusted with the upkeep work and it took nearly two weeks to get the clock operating once more.

The clock had been shipped from England and put in on the finish of 1914. The clock weighs 200 kilos and its dimensions are roughly 4 ft by two ft by three. It was propelled by two weights, 150 and 250 kilos every, which fell down a 24-foot chute. The pendulum weighed 50 kilos. They are saying the clock was discovered to be so environment friendly that it grew to become often called the Outdated Dependable.

The publish workplace was formally retired on Friday, January 26, 2001, in a grand ceremony. Mac Lewis had bought the constructing from the federal authorities in 1998 with the intention of creating a 36-suite retirement dwelling there. He acknowledged that the constructing was a singular instance of the Italianate type and was designated beneath the Ontario Heritage Act, and pledged to take care of the constructing as such. The constructing was renovated in two phases and was scheduled to open in mid-2001. It was Lewis who named this new seniors’ residence The Clock Tower.

The constructing remained in Lewis’s arms till 2011 when it was bought by Bob Forrest, whose said intention on the time was to take care of the property as Lewis had performed.

Forrest apparently didn’t understand that the constructing was designated on Might 1, 1995 (1995-57) beneath the Ontario Heritage Act and was additionally situated within the Heritage Conservation District as property no. °59 beneath Regulation 2013-51 in October 2013.

In 2013, it was introduced that Forrest wished to construct a seven-story tower surrounding the clock tower and redevelop the property. I am certain most of you adopted the following drama that gripped town for nearly six years. Forrest would return to the drafting board, modifying, refining and tweaking his idea for over three years earlier than lastly falling by the wayside and admitting defeat.

I received concerned within the combat and joined the committee combating his proposal after Forrest’s lawyer advised me that the historic info I had submitted was simply one other outdated wives’ story.

In April 2019, the sale of the historic Newmarket Clock Tower was introduced, primarily ending the standoff. The Forrest Group has confirmed that the circa 1914-15 purple brick landmark at 180 Most important St. S. within the coronary heart of town, in addition to storefronts at 184-194 Most important St. S., will hit the market on the ‘coming.

Fortunately the property has been bought and we’re about to get a brand new boutique lodge within the grand outdated woman.

Newmarket resident Richard MacLeod — the Historical past Hound — has been a neighborhood historian for over 40 years. He writes a weekly characteristic on our city’s historical past in partnership with Newmarket At present, organizes heritage talks and native curiosity strolling excursions, and conducts native oral historical past talks.


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