Lawrence Peregrines: female at sunset!

February 22, 2017 in On the Clock Tower

_W7I2302-001Standing securely at 267 feet tall, the Ayer Mill Clock Tower is the largest mill clock in the world, and a landmark for the Merrimack Valley. The tower itself was completed in 1910 as the crown jewel of the Ayer Mill, part of the American Woolen Company’s collection of mill buildings. The Ayer Mill operated for the next four decades, slowly shrinking in production as mill companies moved to Southern states with cheaper labor until it closed its doors in 1955.

With the collapse of the textile mills, it fell into disrepair. The bell had disappeared from the tower, the glass in the dials was broken, rain had destroyed the original beadboard ceiling at the bell level, pigeons were nesting from the cistern level to the top of the tower, and the original clock no longer functioned. Like the city of Lawrence surrounding it, the Ayer Mill Clock Tower was in decay.

The Greater Lawrence Community Foundation determined that the tower could be returned to its former grandeur, and proceed to raise funds for the restoration. Over $1 million was raised and put towards breathing life back into the symbol of Lawrence.

The Clock Tower has also been home for a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons.  The peregrines keep watch around the Tower as they prepare for another successful breeding season.  Here is a photo of the female peregrine perched on the SW corner of the roof overlooking the setting sun in the distance!