At the beginning of July, WFPL reported that the Louisville Derby Clock, the whimsical animated time piece by local sculptor Barney Bright, could be headed back downtown after all. After the clock was meticulously restored by a group led by Adam Burckle of Adams Matthews, officials hoped to install the clock at the Louisville Zoo. In 2009, we suggested a site on Fourth Street would be much more desirable than a location at the zoo, so it’s welcome news that the clock will again be in a freely accessible public location.
The latest plans call for the Louisville Clock to be set up in Theater Square on Fourth Street near Broadway. The zoo site fell through as the zoo did not want to pay for maintenance and infrastructure costs. Chris Poynter, spokesperson for Mayor Fischer said the city is currently studying the infrastructure requirements of placing the clock on the downtown site, and how they will be financed. There’s already a garden, several sculptures, and a large fountain in the square that complicate installation. A final decision on the downtown site could be made this month, Poynter said.
“We looked at many downtown sites, but Theater Square seems to have gelled with a lot of people,” Poynter said. “A lot of people are excited including business owners, the Louisville Downtown Management District, and Adam Burckle.”
While business support is likely key to financing the installation and maintenance of the Louisville Clock, it still seems to me that the Guthrie Green, the last vestige of the River City Mall where the clock was originally installed, would be an ideal site for the clock. Two blocks north of Theater Square, the Guthrie Green is currently a wasted public space with quite a bit of potential if anyone would put any thought into its design.