Today is a milestone date for the project – it is the third 21 out of four. What am I talking about? Well, there are four 21’s contained in the duration of the project. It began on December 21, 2014; it ends on March 21, when we will be in spring. We have passed January 21, and today is February 21.
So there are a couple of special activities for today – a long-standing tradition begun one month ago. I’m following the pattern I set up on January 21. First of all, I needed to buy a lottery ticket with my lucky number for today being 221. The drawing is tonight and we will see if anything comes of it.
Secondly, I wanted to find a location with a timepiece, to denote the passing of time throughout the months of winter. The idea of a clock tower occurred to me. Now, in the city there seems to be such a tower on every corner – City Hall being the most prominent. But I was looking in the suburbs, and they are not as plentiful. Then I thought about Borough Hall in Hatboro, about 20 minutes from my house.
Hatboro (named for the reason you would expect, hats were made there in the past) is another place with a lot of associations for me. For one thing, my husband worked there when we were first married. We lived close by and we did a lot of shopping in this town. So the Borough Hall, which is a national historic site, was a familiar location. Its surroundings have changed a lot – a retirement community now surrounds it.
But the building is the same. It was constructed as a school in 1811 with funds donated by the estate of a prominent citizen, Robert Loller. My husband and I drove there on a very cold gray day. We were surprised to see the clock has a face but no hands right now – it’s not working. After I came home I did some research and found out that the clock itself is famous for its maker, Isaac Lukens, who made the clock on Independence Hall as well. This clock is currently under restoration and will be back to work soon. I was amazed to learn the clock is 200 years old.
So the theme of the passing of time turned out to be fulfilled, though not in the way I had thought. This building focused my thoughts on time as it is expressed in centuries, not months or hours. I set the sunshine on the front steps. Now I’ve added my little bit to the history of this place.
We looked around a little bit. I was interested in the storm windows – you don’t see this kind very often anymore. And my husband pointed out that the clock tower itself looks appears to have been altered – it looked as if a Victorian-type section had been stuck on top of the simpler pediment. A little more research at home told me that he was right – it had been. Once again, an everyday sight has come to life for us courtesy of the Sunshine Project!
Do you want to know more about the Sunshine Project? Look here or search under the category “Sunshine Project”.
And you might be interested…
Day 21, Historic Farm Site and Local Park This post mentions another prominent local citizen, the man who carried out Loller’s request for the building of the academy, Nathaniel Boileau. We left a sunshine at the park and historic site named for him.