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Ariana+Manco+writes+her+name+on+the+window+frame+with+a+clear+view+of+Strawberry+Hill+Avenue.+++
Ariana Manco writes her name on the window frame with a clear view of Strawberry Hill Avenue.

Ariana Manco writes her name on the window frame with a clear view of Strawberry Hill Avenue.

Jessica Infante

Jessica Infante

Ariana Manco writes her name on the window frame with a clear view of Strawberry Hill Avenue.

Jessica Infante, Staff Writer

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The mysterious clock tower, well-known to art teachers and Stamford High School alumni, is known to be frightening and dirty because of its dark and hidden location.

Back in the early 1900s, when the school was relocated to its current address, students would go up to the now unfamiliar and restricted clock tower. The clock tower, which has graffiti and carvings of the names from 1928, is located above room 361 and is blocked by pipes, ducts and ceiling tiles. It is rare for people to get access to go up to the almost 90-year-old tower. However, with permission, juniors Daniel Ramos and Ariana Manco and I got to experience the tall, dusty climb after school. We were able to get past the numerous obstacles and make our mark at the top.

The clock tower was above an unstable ceiling on the third floor. One ceiling tile leading up to the tower had already been removed upon our arrival. We had to place a ladder on top of a table to reach the ceiling and inside of the ceiling, there was dust and dirt everywhere. Although it was dark and spacious, the tiles were too fragile to step on to explore the inside of the ceiling, so we made our way by stepping on various pipes and pieces of wood to reach the ladder that led to the top itself.

Ladder leading to the top.

Ramos was the first to go up and had no problem searching for a safe step. Following him, Manco and I took our time striding cautiously toward the ladder.

As we arrived to the top of ladder, it became brighter because of the windows surrounding us. We were able to see students leaving school, cars driving, tops of buildings and a glimpse of the Long Island Sound.

On the inner walls of the tower, there was a lot of faded graffiti and carvings. The writings included names of former students and couples from 2006 and earlier to the 1930s. Now the towers holds the names of Ramos, Manco and myself. We stayed up in the tower for about half an hour talking and taking pictures.

Though the tower is restricted, there had been attempts in climbing up in past years, according to Drama Club Teacher Claudia Nerreau. Moreover, Nerreau used to teach in the room beneath the entrance of the tower and described how cold the room would get in the winter because the clock tower was exposed to the outside weather, leaving the room unprotected from the cold temperature.

Graffiti in Clock Tower

Going up to the clock tower was an exciting experience, but it is definitely a dangerous climb. Meticulous footing is especially important to maneuver up to and down from the tower. When we reached the ground, we had dust all over our clothes, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle.

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