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Facelift for Minneapolis City Hall's tower clock

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Time stands still, figuratively speaking, in downtown Minneapolis for the next several days as the clock on the City Hall tower is being inspected.

City crews turned off the clock mechanism at 6:30 a.m. Monday so engineers can see whether it needs any repairs or new parts, according to a news release.

That means the clock won't be telling time, the chimes won't be ringing and the lights will be turned off until the work is done, the Star Tribune notes.

The clock tower, which is 345 feet tall, is the signature feature of the building which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tower's four clock faces are each about 23.5 feet in diameter, nearly the same size as London's Big Ben.

Because of its great height, the inspectors have little choice except to rappel down the outside of the tower to reach the clock faces and look for cracks or other damage, says WCCO.

The engineers will spend another day or so examining the outside of the clocks, and will then take a few more days to look over the interiors.

WCCO notes the spruce-up will include removing the neon lighting from the clock's hands, since it doesn't really fit in with the building's character.

The work should be done by Friday, according to city officials.

The clock was last stopped for repairs in 2007, when the original inside gear works were replaced with modern equipment.

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