Northside Blodgett clock tower cannot be saved

CORNING, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Sitting atop the former Northside Blodgett school is the well-known clock tower... for now. 

The landmark cannot be saved. Demolition crews and engineers worked together for months to see how they could lower it from the building and if it was even possible.  

"The engineers could not guarantee that it could be removed without crumbling," Jeanne Glass, project manager at Arbor Housing Development, said.  "It's a wood structure and it appears that it was built in different layers."

Glass adds they say the wood is so dry rotted, you can cut it with a knife. 

The recommendation, if it was to be removed, is to build a crib around the structure, but there was the possibility of crumbling during that process.

Bob Crocker, who is the president of Northside High School Alumni Association, says the group has been fighting for the tower's life, and he isn't happy with the outcome. 

"I'm rather devastated to think the tower is in such bad shape," Crocker said. 

He's hoping the school board will decide to save what it can to hopefully rebuild it.

He could be in some luck because there might still be a few pieces that are salvageable like the two clock faces that were removed. Each weigh 500 to 700 lbs.

One former student, Mark Connell, who attended the school in the 1960's is upset to see it go.

"I certainly would have wished that it could be saved, but I understand structurally it can't be," Connell said. "It's a little sad to see these old structures go like this that carry a lot of memories."

The alumni association is holding a meeting at the Southeast Steuben County on February 5 at 1:00 P.M. for anyone who wants to inquire about the situation or hear what the group has to say. 


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