have always wanted to paint Dubuque's City Hall Clock ever since it was restored to the top of City Hall some years ago. Time and the ravages of weather required the City of Dubuque to remove the original clock from the roof of City Hall long ago, but vintage photographs of the building from 100 years ago revealed this beautiful clock that was nearly forgotten.
A great friend of mine, the late Wayne Norman, a community organizer and creative philanthropist, launched a drive to restore the clock, and the community got behind it with characteristic enthusiasm.
When something like this happens in our town it attracts other neighborhood improvement initiatives. The old Walsh Store across the street was purchased by Dubuque Bank and Trust and painstakingly restored to 19th Century perfection and converted to office space. When a new elementary school was built across the street, the architect captured the character of the neighborhood in its design but the building had all the functionality of a modern school facility.
It's these projects, like the iconic clock on the top of City Hall, that set a tone and captures the intrinsic value of the city's architectural heritage, and it sparks the imagination of its citizens and the spirit of community. Once again the City Hall Clock watches over the weekly Farmers Market that has been operating at the foot of City Hall for more than 100 years and itself a continuous source of pride and a symbol of local creative enterprise.
My music choice for this episode is Gershwin Plays Gershwin, the Piano Rolls Vol. 1. It is a fantastic selection of music transcribed from the actual piano rolls that George Gershwin made himself. So technically speaking, you are hearing a pristine recording of George Gershwin playing his incredible "An American in Paris." There is no other instrumentation. Just Gershwin at his piano!