Conservation Solutions, Inc: Art + Architecture + Artifacts

Clock Conservation - Fort Christian

Site
Fort Christian, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, International
Client
Parsons, Brinkerhoff, Quade & Douglas

Fort Christian at Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands, was first constructed in 1671. Its last reconstruction under Danish protection occurred in 1875 when the clock and bell tower were added and the entire building was painted red like all Danish forts. The tower holds four glass clock faces which had been run by an early twentieth century Seth Thomas clock. Although later electrified, the clock still used its original mechanical gearing and timing mechanisms to rotate the hands and strike the bell atop the tower.

Conservation Solutions, Inc. (CSI) conservators were contracted to restore the clock. It had been out of operation for at least a decade and the clock faces were cracked and represented a life safety hazard. Conservators removed the faces and had new laminated glass versions created using the original graphic designs.

The clock was shipped to our clock specialty restoration partner and entirely rehabilitated. The bell was conserved and a new white oak beam was installed to support the striking mechanism. After a three year long process, the clock and faces were reinstalled in their original setting and made operable again.