July 15, 2008


Revised clock tower design OK’d

Developer changes tower to a square structure

Clock Tower

Image provided by Jeff Taw
This rendering of the proposed clock tower building shows a square tower that has been changed from the original cylindrical design because of cost.

Staff Reporter

The city’s Historic Commission Monday morning approved a revised design for the clock tower building planned for the corner of Main and Tompkins streets.
Linda Kline said this morning that property owner John Scanlon and Jeff Taw, of Syracuse-based Holmes King Kallquist & Associates Architects, proposed a new design featuring an altered tower and roof.
Kline added that the newly proposed shingles look more like authentic slate and the tower roof was squared off, sloping down on all four sides and extending over the windows of the north and south sides of the tower.
Taw said the design change stemmed from finding more cost-effective ways to build the tower.
“The original cylindrical tower and conical slate roof were proving to be expensive to construct,” he said. “We explored a simpler square plan, which gave us an opportunity to utilize some design elements which reflect the original Squires Building tower without being completely mimetic.”
Scanlon said this morning that after receiving high cost estimates for the cylindrical tower approved by the Historic Commission last year, he considered a square tower like the original building that was destroyed by a fire in April 2006.
“I think this design was looked at more favorably,” Scanlon said. “I think it does justice to the original building but gives more character.”
Scanlon added that he believes everything has now been approved locally and by the state, expect for the city code office, that will have to make sure the building meets code before construction begins.
The Hayner Hoyt Corp. of Syracuse has been working with Scanlon as the general contractor for the project.
“We are now working with the contractors to finalize a couple key things like the time line and costs,” Scanlon said, adding that once everything is in place, they will break ground.
The project could begin this year as long as the building would be weather-tight before the winter so interior work could proceed during the colder months before the exterior was finished in the spring.
Scanlon said the second option would involve starting the construction next spring and finishing it in a single season.
Mayor Tom Gallagher said this morning the city expects Gov. David Paterson to be present for the groundbreaking.
Scanlon said the cost of the project is nearing $3.5 million.
The city was awarded a $2 million state grant from the Empire State Development Office for the project in April 2007, requiring a matching contribution from the property owner. Scanlon said he would receive the grant after the project has been completed.
Staff reporter Evan Geibel contributed to this article.


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