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Grapevine to Unveil Clock Tower During Main Street Days

May 15, 2012 12:08PM ● By tina

Grapevine is Only Place in North America to See One-of-A-Kind Clock Tower

On Friday, May 18, shortly before noon, the grand opening of the new Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau Headquarters and Museum Complex will include the unveiling of the 127-foot high Cotton Belt Hotel Clock Tower complete with two larger-than-life, 9-foot tall glockenspiel characters, known as the Would-Be Train Robbers, attempting a lucrative train heist. Approximately 75 feet above ground, these figures emerge from the Tower each day shortly before the stroke of noon and 6 p.m. to commence what each believes to be the perfect heist. Visitors will gather each day to see this exciting glockenspiel experience. Just as glockenspiels in Europe are rooted in history, Grapevine’s Clock Tower figures reflect the Western lore that many visitors from outside Texas find interesting and entertaining. The unveiling will be part of Grapevine’s 28th Annual Main Street Days festival.

The Clock Tower’s characters each have their own back story which visitors can read as they wait for the figures to emerge. The first character, Nat Barrett, is a young cowboy looking for a one time heist to fund his dream of moving west and buying his own ranch. With an eye towards getting even with the Railroad at the next to last stop, he returns to Grapevine and, by chance, meets the second would-be train robber, Willy Majors. Willy has lived his entire life just outside of the law and spent most of his time gambling and robbing the occasional train across the West, never harming anyone during his criminal deeds. Now, Willy is searching for one last heist to ride off into the sunset and disappear forever. Both characters have come to rob the train of $60,000 (approximately $1.5 million in today’s dollars). As these two meet and argue about the potentially lucrative heist, they miss the opportunity to rob the train and learn that crime doesn’t pay.

The glockenspiel was built by The Verdin Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1842, six generations of the Verdin family have been dedicated to creating tower clocks, street clocks, fine cast bronze bells, carillons, electronic digital bells and streetscape furnishings that enrich communities and become cherished legacies for generations to enjoy. During its 170 year history, the Verdin Company has completed more than 50,000 installations worldwide. The Cotton Belt Hotel Tower’s glockenspiel is the first of its kind and sure to become one of the most recognized symbols of The Verdin Company’s unparalleled craftsmanship.

The Would-Be Train Robbers were created by Life Formations of Bowling Green, Ohio and Grapevine is the only place in North America where these figures can be seen. Shortly before the stroke of noon and 6 p.m. each day, the Would-Be Train Robbers attempt to get to the train but an argument erupts and turns into a shootout and each time we never know who will fire the first shot or what the outcome will be. A viewing plaza is located across the street from the Tower for optimal viewing. This unique attraction, coupled with Grapevine’s multitude of family-friendly events, attractions, hotels, restaurants, shopping and dining experiences reminds visitors and locals alike that Grapevine is the premier leisure and meetings destination in North Texas.

The rich culture and history of Grapevine’s early settlers is captured in the Grapevine CVB’s new Headquarters and Museum Complex. Every detail was considered in light of historical development of Grapevine, from the exterior building facades to the interior staircase, lighting, meeting and office space.

Please visit Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau or call 817-410-3185 for more information.