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Landmark Legend: Jacobs Jewelers Clock

12:37 PM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE - She's back. The Jacobs Jewelers clock, officially known as the Greenleaf and Crosby clock, is once again at the corner of Laura and Adams. She's a Landmark Legend that has had quite a ride over the years.

Last month, the 112 year old clock was rededicated after the city gave it a $50,000 facelift.  "It's better than new," says Jacons Jewelers owner Roy Thomas.  He says the clock has been restored four times over the past century.  "There are four high tech electric movements and it has a GPS receiver where it resets itself twice a day so it always has the right time."  In addition, the clock is no longer silent it now chimes and strikes at the time of the hour. 

The clock has had three homes in downtown Jacksonville. It moved in 1930 when Jacobs moved to the corner of Laura and Adams Streets. One hundred were made worldwide and now only a dozen are left. "Only 12 are left. And ours is the only one that ever had lights. There's not another one like it," said Thomas.

The clock was almost was gone for good after a city bus was cut off by a car in 1974.  "He actually didn't run into the clock but he squeezed it off the base and it hit the building and fell into the sidewalk and broke into 200 pieces."

The city didn't want to pay to get the clock repaired. It was Thomas who paid the $5500 and the insurance company the other half to get it fixed. But it was tough to find the right repairman. That's when former WTLV-TV co-owner Alexander Brest stepped in.  "He came in and said how's the clock going? We said we're having a tough time. He said we're going to put you on TV two or three times a day for a month and he said we're going to flush him out," said Thomas.

Flush him out they did and the clock was repaired. Now, the city owns and maintains the timepiece.  "I think it looks great. It's a nice touch. It brings back a little historical feel to the neighborhood and really helps with the streetscape here along Laura Street," said JJ Connors who works downtown.

Thomas says he hopes the clock will always be a downtown landmark. "We wanted it to always be there.  Hopefully Jacobs will always be there but who knows the clock will always be there."

The Jacobs Jewelers clock. A downtown Jacksonville landmark legend that has withstood the test of time.



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