The Keney Memorial Clock Tower is sited at the intersection of Albany Avenue, Main and Ely Steets, where once the wholesale grocery business run by the brothers, Henry and Walter Keney stood. The Clock Tower, constructed of brownstone in 1898, was designed by Charles C. Haight and was modeled on the Tour Saint-Jacques, a Gothic tower in Paris. It stands 130 feet high.
The only free-standing tower in Hartford, its Gothic architectural design includes four bird of prety gargoyles perched at its top, louvered windows meant to allow clock chimes to be heard, and an eight-foot-diameter clock face on each of its four sides. Installed in 1899 by the Seith Thomas Clock Company, the mechanism that drives the exterior clocks is 65 feet above street level and is reached by ascending 79 steps. The clock required winding with a 14-inch crank every eight days.
In 1992, a restoration project was completed thatamong other thingscomputerized the chiming mechanism which now does the work the six chimes in the clock tower once performed.
The tower was dedicated in 1898 to honor Rebecca Turner Keney, mother of the Keney brothers. It is said that the tower is unique in that it commemorates a woman whose only claim to greatness was that of being a good mother.
The plaque in the entryway reads:
This tower erected to the memory of my mother is designed to preserve from other occupancy the ground sacred to me as her home and to stand in perpetual honor to the wisdom, goodness and womanly nobility of her to whose guidance I owe my success in life and its chief joy ~ Henry Keney."
The tower at present is not open to the public.
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