Committee members eye restoration of Flossmoor’s downtown clock tower

  Plans are underway to
  restore Flossmoor's
  downtown clock tower.

  (Photo by Tom Houlihan/
  H-F Chronicle)
 

Fans of “Back to the Future” remember a downtown clock tower that plays a notable role in the film. Scorched by a 1955 lighting strike, the tower’s clock is still out of service 30 years later.

There’s nothing cinematic about Flossmoor’s downtown clock tower, which caps two stories of businesses and apartments across the street from the village’s Metra station. The tower's clock mechanisms stopped working long ago. A group of area residents is moving ahead with plans to install functional timepieces at the tower.

Mayor Paul Braun announced the restoration plan at the May 15 village board meeting.

“The clock tower has been a part of the Flossmoor downtown area for over 90 years and restoration of the clocks will enhance the charm and beauty of our community,” Braun told the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle.

Braun said former Flossmoor resident Walter McBride initiated the project. A group of Homewood and Flossmoor volunteers ― Jim Groves, Karan Bobele Thomas, Dean and Carolyn Armstrong, Michael Peebles and Mib Braun ― have formed a committee that will spearhead renovation efforts.

Committee members plan to have the restoration completed in time for Flossmoor Fest on Sept. 9, Braun said.

The Flossmoor Clock Committee is seeking donations and will hold a fundraiser at 7 p.m. July 14 at Flossmoor Station, 1035 Sterling Ave.

Braun said the anticipated restoration costs are about $10,000, which will also include refurbishing the sign on the corner of the building.

Dean Armstrong said the building at Flossmoor Road and Central Drive first opened in 1926 and initially included Flossmoor State Bank, which went under during the Great Depression. There’s a huge safe in the basement, he said.

“For many years the building housed Lappin Pharmacy, where so many longtime Flossmoor families enjoyed spending time at the soda fountain,” Armstrong said.

The clocks stopped working long before Caulfield Properties acquired the building in the early 1990s, he said. Armstrong said he is attorney for Caulfield Properties.

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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.

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