February's question corner
by Tim Athan
Q. I like the old street clocks that I see in so many towns and cities. Isn't it odd that Ann Arbor doesn't have one?
A. Sometimes called "post clocks," these would traditionally stand in town squares, often next to jewelry stores. The Ann Arbor historians contacted by the Observer informally agree that our city never had one. In 1986, however, a clock in a similar style was added to the First National Building by its owner, First Martin Corporation, and then-tenant Merrill Lynch. At the time, a display beneath the clock displayed the Dow Jones stock index, but after a couple of decades the mechanism began to develop problems. Since Merrill Lynch was no longer a tenant, the display was removed.
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[Originally published in February, 2014.]