In the Spring of 2018, Nolagirl and I went to Mesa, Arizona for the spark! Festival of Creativity. On our way to and from the festival at the grounds of the Mesa Arts Center, we looked at some of the city’s other public art.
Don’t know much about Mesa, AZ? I didn’t either until I lived and worked in the area on a couple of different occasions and explored the downtown alone and with Nolagirl.
According to the city’s official website,
[l]ocated in Maricopa County and just 15 miles east of Phoenix, Mesa covers 138 square miles, is the third largest city in Arizona and the 36th largest city in the nation.
If you weren’t paying attention, you could drive into Mesa and never even knew you’d left Phoenix.
In my experience, Mesa is full of meth, Mormons, subdivisions in which the houses look like they were produced with the same cookie cutter, and plenty of places to shop. Mesa’s downtown hosts many pieces of public art, and that’s lots of fun. Some of the pieces in Mesa’s public sculpture collection I’ve written about include The Big Pink Chair, Booked for the Day, Scrap Book Boy, Teaching Children Since 1878, Humpty Dumpty, and Two Horses.
On the warm afternoon Nolagirl and I were in Mesa, we saw a lot of art and a clock. I thought the clock was interesting, so I took a photo of it.
I thought I’d find a lot of information about the clock online. I thought I’d use the photos I took along with the info I found in my research and write up an informative blog post.
Not so much.
There just isn’t that much information about the clock online, or at least not much that I could find.
The Wikipedia article “List of historic properties in Mesa, Arizona” says the clock is
…the 1926 Town Center Clock located at the NE corner of W. Main and Macdonald. This clock was originally across the street at 61 West Main but, was moved to this corner in 1932. The clock mechanism has been updated.
Hey! Ok! That’s something. (This information, along with a photo of the clock when it said “The Valley Bank” above the face, can be found on the Mesa Historic Downtown Walking Tour brochure.)
The Waymarking website has this to say about the clock:
This clock replicates one that stood on the corner outside of the Valley National Bank from 1928 [sic] to 1958. It was a landmark and a gathering place for the downtown area. In the year 2000, the clock was rebuilt by the City of Mesa.
I think that information comes from the plaque at the base of the clock.
This plaque leaves me with more questions than it answers. Why was the clocked moved across the street in 1931? Why was the clock on Main Street for only 32 years? Where was the clock from 1958 until it was rebuilt in 2000? Is this the same clock that stood on the corner until 1958 with only the mechanism updated, or is this clock a replica of the clock that stood there until 1958? Who built the clock? Where was it built? Who gathered at this clock and why?
If the answers are out there, I couldn’t find them.
I took the photos in this post.