A Sign of the Times: JKV’s Iconic Clock Goes Digital

The iconic red-neon John Knox Village name and clock that faced Interstate 95 from the west side of JKV’s 17-story Cassels Tower apartment building has been taken down after 35 years.

It has been replaced with a glitzy, new, high-tech LED (Light-Emitting Diode) projecting sign, with features including full-colored lighting and programmable customized messaging.

What began in 1988 as an advertising gimmick, which allowed commuters to know exactly how early, on time, or late they were for work or dinner, quickly became a beacon quite literally, as it could be seen from a mile away.

“We’re hoping to create a new landmark,” Bob Milanovich, JKV director of resident relations, told the Miami Herald in an article that ran 35 years ago. “You have 50 million people passing by every year.”

That was then. Now, according to the website AARoads.com, the traffic volume on I-95 in Broward County generally exceeds 200,000 vehicles daily, which translates into some 73 million vehicles annually.

The old clock was the size of a Mazda Miata, standing 10 feet wide, with a four-foot-long big hand and a three-foot-long little hand. The idea to put a clock on the side of Cassels Tower came from Village resident Arleen Ridenour, who also contributed a sizable amount to the $15,000 price tag.

“It really was quite a visionary marketing idea from Ms. Ridenour back in the day,” said Jamisyn Becker, JKV’s current Director of Marketing and Innovation. “And now, with this state-of-the-art digital clock and sign, we are able to utilize the newest technologies available for providing the time of day and purposeful information about JKV to millions of folks traveling the Interstate.”

The old clock’s red neon has been replaced with LED lighting, has been refurbished, and will be installed on the east side of Cassels Tower to be seen by residents, guests, and staff throughout the campus.

“The clock has served us well over the years, and we are delighted we were able to repurpose it for the other side of the Cassels Tower building for all to enjoy,” said Thom Price, JKV’s Vice President of Operations.