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Allen-Bradley Clock Tower

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Title: Allen-Bradley Clock Tower  
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Subject: Clock tower, Rockwell Automation, Abraj Al Bait, List of largest clock faces, List of Milwaukee landmarks
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Allen-Bradley Clock Tower

Allen-Bradley Building
General information
Architectural style International Style
Town or city Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Country United States of America
Completed 1962
Client Allen-Bradley
Design and construction
Architect Fitzhugh Scott

The Rockwell Automation Headquarters is an office building located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Clock Tower

The Allen-Bradley Clock Tower, owned by Allen-Bradley, a product brand of Rockwell Automation, has long been a landmark in Milwaukee. According to the Guinness Book of World Records: "The largest four-faced clock is that on the research and office addition of the Allen-Bradley Company. Each face has a diameter of 40 feet, 3-1/2 inches. Dedicated on October 31, 1962, it rises 280 feet from the streets of Milwaukee, and requires 34.6 kilowatts of electricity for lighting and power.

The original plans for the clock tower date as far back as 1959, when it appears on early drawings for the proposed addition. Created by architect Fitzhugh Scott, the plans included several towers in its design, only one of which would house a clock. This was scaled back, however a smaller tower on an existing building was kept and modified to display the outdoor temperature using a large digital display. The interest in creating the tower was Harry Bradley, younger of the firm's two founding brothers. An inventor, Bradley including in his tinkering several of the clocks which he owned.

The current clock tower stands at 283 ft. (86.26 m).[1] Because the octagonal faces are nearly twice the size of the faces of London’s Big Ben, chimes were never added in order to allow Big Ben to remain the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world. Both towers held their respective titles of largest clocks in the world until the completion of the Abraj Al Bait clock tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Each hour hand of the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower is 15.8 feet (4.8 m) long and weighs 490 pounds (220 kg). Each minute hand is 20 feet (6.1 m) long and weighs 530 pounds (240 kg). The hour markings are 4 feet (1.2 m) high.

The clock has been called "The Polish Moon," referring to the historically Polish neighborhood in which it is based (see St. Stanislaus Catholic Church history). In recent years it has also been called the "Mexican Moon," reflecting the change in the area's ethnic composition (though both ethnicities have presences). Its lighted faces have been used as a navigation aid for Lake Michigan mariners over the years, except during the 1973 oil crisis when the clock was unlit from November 1973 to June 1974.[2]

The tower made an appearance on the NASCAR Busch Series race car of Mike Bliss in 2004. To celebrate Rockwell Automation and Allen-Bradley's 100-year association, the #20 Rockwell Automation car was painted black with gold accents, along with the Rockwell/Allen-Bradley 100 Years symbol on the hood and quarter panels. The Clock Tower was put on the car in front of the wheel well.


External links

  • NGS Survey of the Tower
  • Allen-Bradley Tower Clock Description

Coordinates: 43°01′07″N 87°54′46″W / 43.018603°N 87.912640°W / 43.018603; -87.912640

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