Clock Tow­er at the Min­neapo­lis City Hall / Hen­nepin Coun­ty Courthouse

Clock Tower Ps

After nearly 70 years, the lighting of the clock tower at the Minneapolis Municipal Building was restored to the original design intent. Using the architect’s drawings as a guide, the glass and the support structure was restored to look as it did when the building was built in the early 1900’s. Minneapolis Architects Long and Keys designed the Municipal Building as a landmark structure, drawing on neo-Romanesque themes of Boston architect H.H.

Richardson. The tower is the crowning jewel of the building, with four clock faces that measure 24 feet in diameter. It is the largest four-faced, chiming clock in the world. The tower also serves as a symbol of great city of Minneapolis.

Using a technique taken from theatrical lighting, Schuler Shook used a “bounce drop” – a highly reflective curtain hung behind each clock face. A bank of highly efficient LED floodlights illuminate the drop, and the reflected light provides an even wash of light that back-lights the clock face, without shadows from support structure.

The glowing glass silhouettes the clock hands, allowing citizens to read the time-of-day from miles away.


Minneapolis, MN


MacDonald & Mack Architects


  • IES Illu­mi­na­tion Design Award of Mer­it, 2018

Related Lighting Design Projects