A Century of Time
The clock strikes 100.
At the turn of the century, a small red brick post office stood at the corner of Main Street and Fairford Street. Experiencing an exponential growth prior to the First World War, the city necessitated a larger establishment to house the growing population. In 1911, the architectural endeavor that exists today as Moose Jaw City Hall had begun. With construction lasting between 1911 and 1914, the large-scale project and substantial cost spoke greatly of the optimistic turn Moose Jaw was embarking upon at the time.
The heritage value of Moose Jaw City Hall resonates with its unique and elaborate architecture. Carved stone characters “GR” etch the building representing His Majesty King George who was in reign at the time, and marks its symbolism of its governmental role. Other unique architectural elements adding to its prominence include the rusticated stone base, attic with mansard roof, ornate stonework, and pronounced keystones—exemplifying its Edwardian Classical Style. Amongst its most distinctive features is the four-faced clock that rests predominantly atop the grand historic gem. Like a giant grandfather clock constructed on a weight system, kept in motion by a series of gears and pulleys, the clock was the largest of its kind in Western Canada. The monumental clock was set in motion August 7, 1914, at 10 a.m.
Initially built to house the city’s Post Office, the building served other governmental roles, housing agencies such as customs, and at one time, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. An expansion of the building would add the Moose Jaw City Police in 1985.
Though the internal operations may have changed, the clock itself has remained unchanged. Steadfast and continuous, the timepiece has remained the focal point of Historic Downtown Moose Jaw and a lasting emblem of a city.
SOURCE: Courtesy of City of Moose Jaw and Moose Jaw Times Herald
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