Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Time's running out for Largo's landmark clock tower

Some have maligned the city's landmark because of its proportions.

The clock tower has been called "squat" or "strange," said Public Works director Brian Usher.

And the plaza where it stands has seen better days.

So Tuesday at a city work session, Largo leaders got a glimpse of options to renovate the clock tower and the plaza.

And after hearing about problems with the condition of the tower and the mosaics that adorn it, most city commissioners decided to tear down the clock tower and build one across the street and revamp the plaza at East Bay Drive and Seminole Boulevard.

"I don't want to put money into it if it's only going to give me another four or five years," Vice Mayor Harriet Crozier said.

A year ago, city commissioners decided to renovate the landmark and the plaza and earmarked about $300,000 from Penny for Pinellas funds.

The fountain system near the tower is broken and the some of the pavers on the plaza have also started to crack. And the mosaic tiles are loosening from the structure because they were applied over paint that is peeling away from the columns, Usher said.

While most commissioners preferred replacing the clock tower, Mayor Pat Gerard and Commissioner Mary Gray Black said they would like to see the mosaics and tower preserved as best as it could be.

"It may be ugly, but it's delightfully ugly," Black said, referring to the clock tower's proportions. "I'd like to see it stay there."

The design was spearheaded five years ago by Joseph Koslowski as part of an Eagle Scout project. And his mom, Jeannette, wrote City Hall asking to see the design maintained.

"When it was approved, it wasn't approved for four years," said Jeannette Koslowski, who also submitted a petition signed by more than 40 parents and members of Boy Scout Troop 468. "It was our goal to put up an aesthetically pleasing project the city would enjoy for years."

Her son and his fellow Scouts contributed 2,000 volunteer hours producing variety shows and other functions to raise $16,000 for the project, she said.

But Usher told commissioners that replacing the tiles would be a bigger project than the original one and maintaining the tiles would be an ongoing endeavor.

With preservation of the tower unlikely, commissioners asked staff members to preserve as many of the columns as possible and place them in Largo parks to commemorate the project.

Commissioners also decided to scrap the fountain and the stairs and the pergola near the park entrance.

Budget, tax rate

City leaders approved the 2008-09 budget and voted 6-1 to increase next year's property tax rate.

Total budget: $149.9-million

General fund: $61.9-million

New tax rate: 3.84 for every $1,000 of taxable assessed value.

The owner of a home valued this year at $133,000 would pay about $60 less in city taxes next year, mostly because of a doubled homestead exemption.

Time's running out for Largo's landmark clock tower 09/23/08 [Last modified: Friday, September 26, 2008 2:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo, Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament in Nassau, Bahamas. Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County , various media outlets are reporting. [AP photo]
  2. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested on a DUI charge Monday in Jupiter, according to the Palm Beach County sheriff's office.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  3. Boy, 9, hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A 9-year-old boy was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S, police said.

    A juvenile was injured in a shooting Monday morning in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S in St. Petersburg. (Zachary Sampson, Tampa Bay Times)
  4. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  5. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts

    Business

    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]