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Jun 9, 2015 9:56 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Rotary Club Pitches New Clock At Lake Agawam

Mayor Mark Epley pitched the idea of installing a Rotary Club clock in Agawam Park on Monday night in front of the Southampton Village Architectural Review Board. SHAYE WEAVER
Jun 10, 2015 1:51 PM

Southampton Rotary this week asked Southampton Village officials for permission to install a 12-foot-tall clock near a new boardwalk at Lake Agawam—but the idea wasn’t immediately embraced by all.

With the backing of the Village Board, Mayor Mark Epley presented the idea to the village’s Architectural Review Board on Monday night, asking for members’ input, although the ARB’s approval is not needed. After getting a less-than-enthusiastic reception, the mayor said he would go back to Rotary to discuss other places to put the clock.

The 12-foot-tall timepiece, made of black cast iron with a white face containing the Rotary logo—similar to clocks the worldwide organization has installed in cities around the globe—would be placed on the southwest corner of the lake. Mr. Epley said the local Rotary picked that location because similar clocks were historically placed near docks.

ARB members and Southampton Town Historian Zach Studenroth were apprehensive about the proposal on Monday.

“To come up with something of this sort that appears to be historic and to put something in place where it never was seems a little odd,” Mr. Studenroth said, adding that unless there had actually been a clock there previously, installing one that appeared to be historic wouldn’t be historically accurate.

ARB members weren’t happy with the location, either, because it would be in a historic park, next to the World War I monument and, potentially, a newly proposed Pyrrhus Concer memorial. The clock could obstruct the view, they said.

John Rose of Southampton Rotary defended the choice of location. “It’s not right in your face, but there is a lot of street traffic, so it really does make sense,” he said. “The Rotary does its 5K and 10K races there, and although there is a big time clock, people always want to know how much time there is before a race starts.”

Some members of the community who spoke on Monday sounded less than keen on the idea.

Southampton resident Bruce Bockmann said the clock would add only more congestion to the area, and that the village should find another spot for it. “Driving down Pond Lane, I’m dodging ducks and a lot of stuff—it’s a tricky little place,” he said. “Having a clock up there wouldn’t be helpful dodging ducks … it’s just something cluttering the line of sight. You ought to consider the safety of that area.”

Southampton resident Susan Stevenson recommended that Rotary and the village consider placing the clock at the train station on North Main Street instead. “I think there is enough going on down [at the lake], so the addition of more things, especially given that there wasn’t anything historical before, is not what I would want to do.”

Mayor Epley said he would return to the ARB with a photo of the proposed location, and that he’d speak with Rotary members about placing the clock elsewhere in the village.

According to Bill Pell, the Rotary’s current president, the organization is amenable to changing the location. He said the Rotary has already purchased the clock, which was being shipped this week.

“Southampton Village been very good to the Rotary and the Rotary has been good to the village,” he said. “It’s a nice-looking clock.”

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Southwest corner or northwest corner?
By metsfan2 (158), southampton on Jun 9, 15 8:29 PM
By Crabby (63), Southampton on Jun 10, 15 3:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
Looks like a nice clock to me. I hope it passes. Here is what it would look like:
By Killerfrog (37), Southampton on Jun 10, 15 4:51 PM
Oh man, that's really not attractive. Is it actually four clocks?
By Agawam Yacht Club (69), Southampton on Jun 11, 15 10:09 AM
No disrespect to Rotary, but why a clock? Don't we all use our cellphones now as clocks, our watches as clocks, etc? It's not 1843 anymore. Don't all of our cards have clocks? Why on earth would we need a faux historic clock/marketing piece in the park? How did this idea get out of a rotarian committee?
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Jun 10, 15 8:48 PM
San Gennaro Feast of the Hamptons, Hampton Bays, Scottos