Fort Snelling’s 130-Year Old Clock is Restored

The 130-year old clock restoration was featured on the local ABC News broadcast, including an interview with Miller Dunwiddie’s Project Manager who assisted the Minnesota DNR and Hennepin County with the grant application and project management process. 


Ft Snelling Bldg 67 v

Constructed in 1879, Building 67 — the Clock Tower Building — is the oldest building and the centerpiece of Fort Snelling Upper Post.  Its clock is an early Seth Thomas/Hotchkiss #16 two train tower clock, which is significant for its location and provenance at Fort Snelling, as well as being one of few nationwide with original paint and in original condition, and as one of few tower clocks left in Minnesota of this caliber, vintage, and originality.


In 2012 Miller Dunwiddie assisted Hennepin County and the Minnesota DNR in obtaining a $40,000 Nation Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express Foundation Partners in Preservation Grant to fund the restoration of the rare tower clock.  This grant paid for refurbishment of the existing three-faced clock (hands, numbers, bell, mechanism, drives, linkages, face-glazing, trim, etc.).  Hennepin County retained The Tower Clock Company, located in South Charleston, Ohio, to remove, disassemble, and refurbish the clock and make it fully operational.


On May 11, 2014, the refurbished clock arrived at the Fort Snelling Visitors Center and re-assembly began.  The restored and operating clock will be on display at the Visitors Center until Building 67 is occupied again.  When the building has found a permanent user to provide a secure presence at the Upper Post, the clock will move back to the tower it occupied for over 130 years.


With the use of grants and Minnesota State Bond Funding, Hennepin County and the Minnesota DNR have worked to protect, stabilize, and restore 26 buildings at the Upper Post of Fort Snelling to extend their lives until new uses are found.  Work has been performed by Hennepin County Sentencing to Services crews.   Miller Dunwiddie has provided studies, conditions assessments, design services, and construction administration at various projects at Fort Snelling for over 30 years. Discover more about our work at Ft. Snelling.