Rome’s Historic Clocktower Restoration Fundraising Underway

The City of Rome and The Rome Area Heritage Foundation are partnering to launch a Clocktower Restoration Fundraising campaign to restore the city’s iconic Clocktower.  The goal is to raise $50,000 to complete the project work which includes refurbishing the original clockworks on display, replacing rotted wood panels, painting, installing new flooring and updating the landscape.

The community is encouraged to get involved through several different fundraising efforts to help reach this goal. The Rome Area Heritage Foundation is spearheading the fundraising efforts.

A crowdfunding page has been created at crowdrise.com/clocktower to enable donors to easily give online. The platform allows individuals and groups to launch and garner support for Clocktower fundraising efforts.

Additionally, individuals and groups may support the renovation efforts by purchasing a brick. A limited amount of eighty bricks have been made available to be installed on the grounds. Bricks are $250 and order forms are available on the campaign website at romegeorgia.org/clocktower or at the Last Stop Gift Shop.

Starting in mid-September, Tervis Tumblers featuring Clocktower artwork by the late Debby Brown will be available for sale at the Last Stop Gift Shop. A portion of all proceeds benefit the restoration fund.

The Clocktower, located in downtown Rome, has undergone several restoration projects through the years. In 1986, the Rome Jaycees raised more than $80,000 to repair the brick structure and provide landscaping on the grounds around the tower. The most recent project, the creation of a museum within the Clocktower, became a reality in 1995, again through the fundraising efforts of the Rome Jaycees.

Paula Blalock, President of the Rome Area Heritage Foundation (RAHF), points out it is important to protect our heritage:

“As part of the RAHF’s mission to protect and preserve historic sites in the area, we’re excited to support the Clocktower restoration efforts so that this historic structure can be enjoyed for generations to come,” says Blalock, “We hope to reach our goal and wrap up the fundraiser by the end of the year.”

Built in 1872, during the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War, Rome found itself badly in need of a waterworks. The water tower was built of iron sheets manufactured at the Noble Foundry. Since the time it was built, the tower has become the most recognizable structure in Rome and has even evolved into the official symbol of the city.

“The City of Rome has a history of citizens uniting for great causes,” says Sammy Rich, Rome City Manager. “The Clocktower was originally built because citizens identified a need and supported development efforts. Today, conserving this heritage is an equally important development effort.”

In 1996, local artist Chuck Schmult was commissioned to paint murals depicting the history of Rome on the iron walls inside the Clocktower. The Rome Area History Museum maintains the interior exhibits of the Clocktower and opens the doors seasonally on the first Saturday of each month for the public to explore and learn about Rome.

Joe Smith, City Clerk of Rome, believes maintaining city structures are necessary to preserving local history:

“From the time it was built, the Rome Clocktower has become a cherished piece of the city and its history,” said Smith, “It is imperative that we restore it, so that many more can learn our city’s history.”

In-person donations will be accepted at the Last Stop Gift Shop located at 402 Civic Center Drive across from Applebee’s. A thermometer sign will be on display at the shop to promote the city’s fundraising progress.

For more information about the renovation campaign including videos, photos and how to support the fundraising efforts, please visit RomeGeorgia.org/clocktower or call 706.295.5576