One of Santa Cruz's most important landmarks is the town clock, located at the entrance to the Pacific Garden downtown district where Pacific Avenue and Water and Front Streets all meet. The clock has been a symbolic center of Santa Cruz for generations.
The first town clock was built in 1873, but was lost in a fire in 1899. Another clock was located in a nearby building from 1900 until 1964, but is was dismantled and removed during building renovation. The clock was not put back in place until around the time of the US bicentennial (1976) and was moved to the current location.
The town clock fortunately survived the October 17, 1989 earthquake, which leveled much of downtown. A plaque on the clock tower base reads, "In memory of those who lost their lives in the Loma Prieta Earthquake of Oct 17, 1989."
In 2000 the city Council approved the idea of honoring Doug Rand, local peace activist who had recently died March 5, 2000. The clock tower has often been the site for peace demonstrations in this vocal community.