Texas' Most Unique Clock Tower Reaches Pinnacle on Sept. 15 Iconic Building Designed as Tribute to Grapevine's Historic Past

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Texas' Most Unique Clock Tower Reaches Pinnacle on Sept. 15 Iconic Building Designed as Tribute to Grapevine's Historic Past

GRAPEVINE, TX (Sept. 8, 2010) - In one single lift, a monster crane will elevate the entire 20-ton rooftop to 127 feet into the air to sit atop Texas' only gunfighter "clockenspiel" tower. The Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is proud to announce this "topping out" ceremony at the building site on the corner of Dallas Road and Main Street on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. The tower rooftop will be the initial piece added to the iconic new Grapevine CVB World Headquarters that is slated to open in mid-2011.

Once the 20-ton piece is in place, a live Evergreen tree will be placed atop that structure. This tradition migrated to America with European craftsmen. An Evergreen tree or leafy branch is placed on the highest part of the building to symbolize growth and luck. A toast is usually made; therefore, a champagne cork shoot-off will take place with a champagne toast to follow.

The clock tower roof will be in place on the eve of the 24th Annual GrapeFest so that all who visit the festival this weekend will be among the first to see this new Texas icon.

The clock tower is the centerpiece of the replica Cotton Belt Railroad hotel that will actually house museums, galleries and the World Headquarters of the Grapevine CVB.

The entire complex consists of six facades; each dedicated to an era in Grapevine agriculture and commercial heritage:

1888 Cotton Belt Railroad Hotel - This distinctive building represents the arrival of rail, which brought prosperity to Grapevine and converted it from a rural ranching center to a viable farming and commercial agricultural center.

Dunn Building - Symbolizes the establishment of the flourishing mercantile system in Grapevine, which began in the mid-1900s.

Land Patent Building - Signifies the arrival of the first settlers in Peter's Colony, which covered nearly 2 million acres in north central Texas, including all of Tarrant County.

Grapevine Cotton Exchange Building - Reflective of the farming of cotton and grains throughout Grapevine from the mid- to late 1800s, when "cotton was king".

Dairy Producers Building - Honors the time when Grapevine was the central milk and dairy supplier to Dallas and Tarrant Counties.

Farmers Cooperative Building - Represents the truck farming industry in Grapevine, an extremely vibrant and commercially successful period in its history when Grapevine was the "Cantaloupe Capital of Texas".

The concept for the building facades evolved over time, with input from the mayor and city council, the CVB board of directors and interested citizens. The building itself will pay homage to the all the men and women who settled in Grapevine during the 19th century. Generation over generation, these individuals built a community that is proud of its strong heritage...this same community preserved the rich history through building restoration, festivals and more.

Gary Skotnicki, with ARCHITEXAS, architecture, planning and historic preservation, inc., is the design architect who gave form to the varied array of input and organically developed the building to reflect what could have happened on that corner in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The tower, once complete, will also include a fascinating and realistic "clockenspiel" feature, consisting of two lifelike Texas gunfighters who will face each other and settle their dispute everyday at noon and 6 p.m.

Certain to become a Texas icon known throughout the world, the historic infill building, and especially its unique "clockenspiel", will add yet another dimension to Grapevine's impressive lineup of visitor attractions.