seth thomas

Help Restore Riverside's Historic Seth Thomas Clock

Have you ever taken a stroll downtown and marveled at this beautiful clock and wondered about its history? This “four-dial street clock” was crafted by the Seth Thomas Clock Company in 1908, one of only 71 in this style the company manufactured. They are famed for producing an array of timepieces from pocket watches and wristwatches to majestic tower clocks that adorned cityscapes and the famous clock in New York City’s Grand Central Station.

Riverside's Main Street Clock towers at 16 feet high and boasts a majestic four-sided clock face adorned with regal lion heads. It was purchased in 1920 for $25,000 (that’s about $380,000 in today’s dollars), transported from the east coast, and placed in front of Fisher’s Jewelry Store on Main, then moved in front of the former Westbrook's/Imperial Hardware, and finally to its current spot at Main & Mission Inn.

As the years unfolded, it kept time with upgrades and upheavals. The face was lit in 1921, casting a luminous glow upon the bustling street below. The pedestrian transformation of Main Street saw a repainting of the clock in vibrant day-go colors, a nod to the style of the ‘60s. The dark days of Riverside’s downtown in the ‘80s led to its neglect and vandalism. In the ‘90s, preservationists provided a meticulous restoration and breathed life back into the clock, returning it to its original historically-appropriate hunter green and gold. In 2009, a traffic collision prompted a year-long restoration.

And now, this Riverside icon once again needs our attention. The City will be restoring the function of the clock’s interior, while Old Riverside Foundation and the preservation community are partnering to raise funds for its exterior restoration, repainting, and protection for the next generation. Old Riverside Foundation will match every dollar donated, with the goal of raising $5000. Your generous contribution will help ensure that Riverside’s Seth Thomas Clock will be there to keep up with the times.

©2023 Old Riverside Foundation

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization