Members of the Tigard Noon Rotary Club and the Tigard Breakfast Rotary Club worked together to create and install the Rotary Plaza Clock in Rotary Plaza on Main Street in May 2020.
Now they are coming together again for the “Pièce de résistance,” adding chimes to the clock to complete their vision of a classic icon that pays homage to the traditional train station platform clocks and unites businesses and people who frequent Main Steet.
But there is one caveat remaining: City officials have told the Rotarians they will support adding chimes to the clock as long as there is consensus and support from downtown Tigard business owners and the public, according to Marland Henderson, a Noon Rotary Club member who has been spearheading the project.
“Rotary Plaza was our effort right after my second term on the City Council in 2018 that was endorsed by City Council to be placed between the Tigard Chamber of Commerce and the railroad tracks at the beginning of the New Heritage Trail that the City of Tigard was developing with the railroad for walkability,” Henderson said.
“The unique Rotary Clock was a major fundraiser that both of the Tigard Rotaries designed and constructed shortly after the dedication of Rotary Plaza. If anyone wants to know why we would do this, is because it is all about community.”
According to Henderson the clock is totally automated, and the city provides the power and houses the automated mechanics that operate the clock 365 days of the year. “We have an agreement with the City of Tigard that our two Rotaries will perform all maintenance to consistently clean and maintain the clock at no expense to anyone else,” he added.
Henderson said that the Rotary clubs have made several improvements lately, including the installation of a metal bench for a place to sit off the trail.
“From the beginning we have had donors to do several other projects, including adding chimes and accommodating the Symposium Coffee Shop with space and furniture for leisure dining and meetings,” he said. “As for the chimes, in the beginning the city asked us to gather consensus if we were to move forward in activating them. This will be necessary to somehow document.”
Henderson said he thinks adding chimes to the Rotary Clock will create a sense of community and give Downtown Tigard is own unique personality. He said that the Rotary clubs need to hear from people about how loud they think the chimes should be, how often they should ring and what type of sound they should make. He doesn’t envision anything like the deep resonating bongs of Big Ben in London but instead something more fitting for Tigard’s size and scale. The Rotary Clock is located at 12345 SW Main St., across from Tigardville Station.
Henderson is asking people to call him at 503-329-0159 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with their comments on the proposed chimes.