All 6,000 pounds of the green and bronze Centennial Time Clock
hovered over the asphalt as workers readied the 24-foot clock tower
to be lowered into its home at the future site of Centennial Plaza.
A small audience drawn largely from the Corona del Mar Centennial
Foundation’s ranks looked on from a parking lot near the corner of
East Coast Highway and Marguerite Avenue as a work crew under the
supervision of contractor Paul Keohane strapped the clock tower to a
crane, lifted it from a flatbed truck and turned the tower upright.
Workers then lowered the community’s newest green and bronze landmark
onto bolts that protruded from the concrete below.
“It looks a lot better up there than on paper, Ron,” Centennial
Foundation chairman Bernie Svalstad told architect Ron Yeo after the
clock was in position.
Yeo said he did not want to emulate any particular style in the
clock’s design. The mostly green tower has four clock faces on each
side near the tower’s top. A small spire points skyward from the
tower’s bronze roof. Below the clock faces, the words “Corona del
Mar, California” are cut from bronze plates above the year of the
neighborhood’s founding, 1904.
“It’s kind of an urban-beach feeling,” Yeo said, describing the
look he was aiming for.
One of the youngest members of the audience was 2-year-old Nicolas
Christiano. Nicolas’ grandmother, Jacqueline Wittmeyer, brought him
to the installation.
“I wanted him to come, so when he drives by for the rest of his
life, he can remember watching it go up,” said Wittmeyer, director of
the centennial foundation.
The clock’s installation took Corona del Mar’s Centennial Plaza
one step closer to reality. Keohane, a Corona del Mar resident and
owner of Custom Metal Fabricators, said the next step in the plaza’s
construction is the demolition of the sidewalk near the intersection.
Plans call for sand-colored mosaic tiles to replace the no-frills
concrete at the sidewalk near the plaza.
Hand-painted tiles, a time capsule, and a stone monument bearing
the names of donors who contributed to the plaza’s construction have
yet to be installed before the completed Centennial Plaza’s scheduled
opening on Sept. 25, said Peggy Fort, centennial foundation executive
* ANDREW EDWARDS covers business and the environment. He can be
reached at (714) 966-4624 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.