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William B. Daniels and William Fisher opened a five-story department store in 1864. After travelling to Venice, Italy, Daniels became mesmerized by the Renaissance architecture and wanted a reminder of the beauty in Denver. He decided to build a structure modeled after the Campanile (St. Mark’s Bell Tower) at the Piazzo San Marco in Venice, Italy. Construction of the clock tower began in 1910 and finished in 1912. The tower prided itself in being the highest structure west of the Mississippi River at the time, standing at 325 feet. However, as time passed and the department store was no longer the main target of Denver’s shoppers, the store was sold to the May Company and the tower was vacated in 1958. The building of the department store and the tower were once threatened with demolition, when the Skyline Urban Renewal Project progressed in the 1960s. Preservationists managed to save and restore the clock tower but the department store vanished by 1971.

The clock tower has clock faces on all four sides, with the hour hands being eight feet long and the minute hands being six feet long. A 2.5-ton bell occupies the top two floors of the building. Visitors can see today, red scars on the west side of the tower, where the tower used to be connected to the department store.

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Story Site #310 Daniels and Fisher Clock Tower

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Comments

Great meeting spot in Downtown Denver since it can be seen from most spots and is accessible by the free Mall Ride on the 16th Street Mall. If you can get invited to a private event at the top, definitely attend. It is like Paris’ Musee D’Orsay where you are behind the clock. Additionally, you can walk out on the narrow balcony for a beautiful 360 degree view.

over 4 years ago, www.scootoursdenver.com

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