Town Clock

Built: 1864; Rebuilt and relocated 1873; Relocated – 1971

Located on Main Street at Town Clock Plaza

The Dubuque Town Clock is another distinguished landmark of downtown Dubuque. The clock currently operates in the Town Clock Plaza on Main Street.  Dubuque’s first town clock was initially erected in 1864 on top of the John Bell and Company store, a building on the west side of Main Street between Eighth and Ninth streets. In 1872, the foundation of the building holding the clock gave way and the clock came crashing down on the Bell building.

Town Clock

(Photo Credit: Bob Reding, Encyclopedia Dubuque)

Later in 1872, the mayor and finance committee met to determine the fate of the town clock and tower. They decided to award the commission to design and construct the new clock and tower to John Mullany, provided he complete the project in 30 days. The clock was to be placed on top of a new building on Main Street between 8th and 9th streets, designed by architect Fridolin Heer. According to an 1872 Herald article, Mullany’s Town Clock “is built of brick, three stories high, faced with heavy stone caps, lintels, corners, etc. and is an ornament to the street. The style of architecture appears to be a mixture of the Gothic and Corinthian.” In 1970, the clock was removed from the Town Clock Building and relocated to the Town Clock Square as the centerpiece of the downtown redevelopment effort. The clock tower and clock were set atop a 100-feet tall concrete tower and rededicated in its new prominent home in August, 1971.


(1872 Sheffield Bell inside the Town Clock |Photo Credit: David Johnson, City of Dubuque Planning Department)

inside clock tower

(Inside the Town Clock |Photo Credit: David Johnson, City of Dubuque Planning Department)