Preservation Magazine, Summer 2016

Transitions: Lost—Chelsea Clock Building

Chelsea Clock Building in Chelsea, Mass.

photo by: Pat Piasecki

The Chelsea Clock Company has produced timepieces for Woodrow Wilson, Bob Hope, and the United States military.

In each Transitions section of Preservation magazine, we highlight places of local and national importance that have recently been restored, are currently threatened, have been saved from demolition or neglect, or have been lost. Here's one from Summer 2016.

In the spring of 2015, Chelsea Clock, America’s oldest continuously operating clock manufacturer, vacated the building in Chelsea, Massachusetts, that it had occupied for 118 years. The company, which has produced timepieces for customers such as Woodrow Wilson, Bob Hope, and the United States military, no longer needed the structure’s 27,000-square-foot space. Its 40 employees moved their operations, including machinery dating from the 1920s, to a smaller, early-20th-century building three blocks away. The deteriorating Chelsea Clock Building, constructed in 1897, was purchased by development company Fairfield Residential in March 2016. Fairfield plans to demolish the building later this year to make way for a mixed-use complex with retail space and condominiums.

Katherine Flynn is a former assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores, and uncovering the stories behind historic places.


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