Why, Wilson?

Joanna Chait

When you look at a clock you expect to find one thing—the correct time. And if you go through the trouble of building a giant white tower with windows, and a weather vein, simply to display a clock, that better be one impressive clock. If you are any regular Wilson student, you may have realized that Wilson’s clock tower does not display the correct time—it constantly says 1:20. 

So why go through the trouble of building a clocktower that doesn’t even do its only job: accurately tell the time? Why doesn’t the largest and most visible clock show the correct time? Why, Wilson? 

“About a year ago there was a big power surge and I noticed the clock stopped working,” explained Instructional Coach and Clocktower Keeper David Thompson. When Thompson tried to do his bi-annual daylight savings adjustments by unplugging the clock and re-plugging it in an hour later, the clock would not change time. 

Thompson figured out that the reason the clock doesn’t work is because of its gears. “I have another set of gears, I just have to go up and pull the clock out, replace it, and put the clock back in. It’s just a project, so maybe I’ll do it over winter break,” he said. The clocktower can be accessed through a ladder found in Wilson’s attic. The location of the attic is a secret kept by Thompson. 

This is not the first time the clocktower has broken, a similar situation occurred about 15 years ago. Thompson and Joe Reiner, a former Wilson teacher, replaced a few mechanical parts of the clock in order to get it working again. 

The clock is a part of the original building, constructed in 1935. The tower gives the Wilson building its iconic and recognizable shape. “It is a little point of pride, the clock tower at Wilson” explained Thompson.