On July 23rd, the New York City Council voted to support and officially landmark the Bank of Manhattan “Clock Tower” Building, located at 29-27 Queens Plaza in Long Island City. Over several months Council Member Van Bramer helped lead a grassroots campaign to preserve the historic building and ensure the “Clock Tower” building lasts for generations.

“I’m proud to announce that we have landmarked the iconic “Clock Tower” Building in Queens Plaza," said Council Member Van Bramer. “I have long supported the designation of this historic structure. As Long Island City continues to grow it is important that we preserve its beautiful architecture and the wonderful character of our vibrant neighborhood. This is a tremendous victory for New York City preservationists and local residents who contacted my office and joined the fight to retain the character of Long Island City.”

The Clock Tower was built by C.T Wills and features a vertical band of contrasting brick that accentuates its height and leads the eye crests, monograms, and gargoyles decorating the battlements. The Tower also features an unusual light well that opens out to the east of the building and provides small balconies for each floor.  Three of the building’s fourteen stories comprise the Clock Tower itself, which houses its most prominent feature: a 14’-diameter four faced electron clock whose mechanism was designed and built by the Electime Company of Brooklyn. Interestingly, the exterior walls of the tower follow the gentle tapering of the building plot.

At the time of its completion, the Clock Tower was the tallest building in Queens and remained so until the mid-1970’s. Through the years, the building has been occupied by important city and state officials, including the Borough President of Queens’ staff when it first opened. Morrell Smiths' architecture is extremely unique to this area with its elegant clock tower and aggressive crenels guarding the roof line is like nothing else in the plaza.