NEWTONVILLE – On Friday, Nov. 3, time began ticking away again on Route 9 in Newtonville.
Town Supervisor Peter Crummey announced that crews completed the replacement of the clock on the Memorial Town Hall, which is one of several improvements in the works for the town building built in the 1960s.
The original town hall clock was installed after its completion in 1964. After years of wear and tear, it was replaced with the Colonie town seal several decades later. While it remained a notable part of town hall’s appearance, according to records, the original design for the town hall did not include it. This left many to regard it as an afterthought upon completion of the building, according to Town Historian Kevin Franklin.
The new clock, furnished and installed by Lumichron Commercial Clocks at a cost of $15,827 is equipped with lights that will allow it to be seen at night from the road.
“It’s about time that we reinstate the purpose of the clock tower at our Memorial Town Hall.
By doing so, we revitalize a longtime Colonie landmark reminding us that, as time moves
forward, so does our great town,” Crummey said.
History of Memorial Town Hall
The original Memorial Town Hall was obtained May 27, 1932 when the town purchased Smith’s Tavern – a popular local meeting place at the time – on Loudon Road. It was purchased from Joseph A. Ehrhardt and A. Page Smith, alongside its outbuildings and 30 acres of land, Franklin said.
According to town records, Smith’s Tavern was built in 1800.
In the following years, renovations and additions were made to the old building to make room for the town government. During that time, two serious fires believed to be started by lightning strikes caused serious damage to the building. Repairs were able to be made without much disruption to services.
After soldiers returned from World War II and the population in Colonie rose around the 1950s, the town decided that the old tavern building was no longer suitable for the needs of its citizens. On Jan. 28, 1963, the Colonie Town Board passed a resolution that awarded bids “to the lowest possible bidders” for construction of a new town hall.
In early 1964, they began work on the new town hall just south of the old building. The two-story brick structure cost $427,000 at the time, according to town documents. Once completed, it housed the Administrative Offices and the Colonie Police Department. The government offices continued to run out of the old building until construction was completed on the new town hall, and the old building was eventually demolished at a cost of $46,000, according to the Town Supervisor at the time, William K Sanford.
“It’s no longer economical to move it or heat it,” Sanford said.