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A Brief History of the Clock Towers

When you reside at the Clock Towers, you are living in a part of local history. The building was first built in 1874 as the Adams and Perry Watch Company. It went through several transitions until the Hamilton Watch Company took over and through the years continuously constructed additions to the building resulted in a city block long complex on Columbia Ave as well as across the street on Wheatland Ave around the corner.

Between national defense contracts and contracts with the railroad, Hamilton Watch Company grew into a major employer in the City of Lancaster, employing hundreds of people over the decades.

Hamilton Watch was known to be a great place to work, and the management saw to it that the employees were taken care of through providing fun social activities and a recognition program for time served. The company even set up a program to help its employees purchase homes of their own, regardless of what your position in the company was. That program gave way to what is today known as the Hamilton Park Neighborhood in Lancaster Township.

When the Hamilton Watch Company downsized and moved to another location, the massive space on Columbia Ave was no longer used for anything. After years of sitting idle, a developer saw the potential to turn the building into rental apartments. When that company could no longer afford to proceed with their project as planned, another larger developer of big, old properties purchased the building with the idea to turn it into Condominiums.

The Clock Towers Condominiums in the former Hamilton Watch Factory was a pioneer in the city for adaptive reuse of older, historically significant buildings.
It is considered a part of the long list of historical structures in Lancaster and was also added to the US Department of the Interior National Historic Register.

We learned from one gentleman who was a former employee after both his grandmother and mother worked there also, that during the winter holiday season, the trees out on the massive front lawn were decorated with lights, and holiday music was shared with all who passed by from large speakers atop one of the 90 foot tall clock towers.

Today the 135 condominium units have unique interior layouts and designs, and the common areas are all connected by a series of long hallways and staircases, while the exterior of this majestic old building remains the same as it did all those years ago.


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