Time Runs Out


Time has run out in this photograph from November 1949 on the Romanesque Pierce County Courthouse clock tower. For generations it was possible to synchronize the time used by the county and the city by simply eyesight. A timekeeper could set the hands on one Howard table clock by checking the distant dial on the other because there was never an obstacle between the twin public time pieces. In this photo, the County clock has been removed and the empty face frames a last view toward the North and just out of the portal to the east is the silhouette of Tacoma’s City Hall tower. The emptiness of this photo creeps me out, a time piece with no face, the hours but no hands, the highest point in the city for generations that today floats in mid air, the ghost of a landmark lost.

Tacoma Public Library, Richards Collection, Series D46436-6, Unique 18546

Pierce County Courthouse before the Howard table clock was installed
No caption needed. ca.1955
Courthouse Tower above Carnegie Library

1 comment

  1. Great site!

    I was curious as to why the building was torn down. Looking at imagery, it looks like this building is where the current court house parking lot is. Was it damaged in the earthquake? Thanks!


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