It was time to bring back old courthouse clock


POSTED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 9:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 18, 2014 - 5:25pm

An old Tyler artifact is up and running in town. What used to be an old courthouse clock is now displayed on top of the new downtown parking garage. The old downtown courthouse clock was the lifeline of the city to people like Joe Zeppa. It's what made Tyler tick.

"It was a pride for many small towns on the other hand it's a necessity," said Joe Zeppa's son Keating.

The clock was torn down with the courthouse in the 50s and Zeppa decided to buy it in an auction. Zeppa's son Keating said this clock was very important to him.

"Let's save it might need it some day."

And he was right. About 60 years ago, the town clock kept everyone timely in their daily duties.

"They relied on the town clock which they could hear for miles as to when it was lunchtime and when it was time to quit."

And now it's once again engraved in Tyler's new Fair Plaza parking garage.

"It ties the new things that were building in with things that have gone before and makes it a uniquely Tyler building," said Project architect at Butler Architectural Group Jason Jennings. He had a vision to incorporate remains of Tyler's past into the present. He came across the clock in the storage room of the Smith County Historical Society.

"We went into a very dark back storage room where that stuff had been stored for 50 years and went back into the crates where the faces were."

The remains of the clock were salvageable, and it was about time the clock was restored to where it was meant to be, facing it's town.  

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