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Home Arts and Culture  Bells are ringing — again
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Thursday, December 9,2010

Bells are ringing — again

Wentworth Park clock is making music after a lengthy silence

by Meghan Spork


Thursday, Dec. 9 — Music is in the air. At least it is near Wentworth Park in
downtown Lansing.


Across from the Radisson, on the corner of Michigan and
Grand, sits a 31-foot steam-powered clock, which — for the past two years — has
been rather quiet.



The clock tower was donated by the Rotary Club of Lansing in
1997, but since the Lansing Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project was working
in the area the electricity had to be cut off to the corner. Thus, the clock
tower’s 49 bell electronic carillon has been out of commission.



“The time it spent dormant really didn’t bode well for the
clock,” said Suzy Carter, executive director of the Lansing Area Safety
Council.



The carillon in the tower had to be replaced. The original that
was taken out was about 24 inches by 24 inches, and the new system is only
about the size of a shoebox.



As of Nov. 22, the clock has its power restored and the new carillon
has been installed. The clock now chimes on the hour and the half-hour from 8
a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and from noon to 8 p.m. on weekends.



The clock also plays a song twice a day, at 12:05 p.m. and
5:05 p.m. The carillon can play over 10,000 different songs, ranging from
holiday music to patriotic tunes to Beatles hits.



The clock will continue playing holiday tunes for the rest
of the season. Carter hopes to keep the theme music running throughout the
year, love songs for Valentine’s Day, and Irish songs around St. Patrick’s Day.



The tower itself has four clock faces, three of which stay
in sync fairly well and one that tends to rebel, as Carter says.



“This tower is a continual work in progress,” Carter said.
“But it’s a really nice aspect of downtown.”

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