Mount Angel cuckoo clock project makes progress
Stu Rasmussen's Cuckoo Clock on the front of the Mount Angel Performing Arts Center is ticking toward completion. The clock is installed on the front of his building in downtown Mount Angel and is telling mostly accurate time. All that's left is some fine tuning. And the cuckoo of course. "The bones (of the clock) are
there," Rasmussen said. Rasmussen said building the clock was the easy part. He made the mechanism for the clock and the controller system himself, and the clock will soon be synced with internet time. Rasmussen is working with local artists to design the cuckoo mechanism, which he said will be an actual cuckoo bird, likely 3D printed. Rasmussen said he has envisioned the cuckoo clock since he first bought the performing arts center 30 years ago. He converted the inside of the center, formerly a motorcycle garage and later a theater, into a photo, television and recording studio. He wants the outside to have a similar feel to the neighboring Glockenspiel and to become a similar tourist destination.
A major obstacle to completing his cuckoo clock has been funding the project. "(The clock) is high on the fun scale, but low on the money scale," Rasmussen said. Rasmussen started a fundraiser last year to raise $75,000 to build the clock and remake the front of the Performing Arts Center in a Bavarian style to match the other buildings in Mount Angel. Unfortunately the fundraiser was less than successful, Rasmussen said. "It was disastrous, I thought the community would get behind it," he said. Still, Rasmussen was able to renovate the front of the performing arts center and replace the sidewalk with community development grants awarded by the city.
"It's a brand new front; we took everything off down to the last stud. It should last another
70 years pretty easily," Rasmussen said. Despite the financial difficul
ties, progress on the cuckoo clock moves ahead, albeit slowly. The clock should be telling accurate time by Oktoberfest, but Rasmussen doesn't know when the cuckoo will be complete. In the meantime, he continues managing the Silverton Theatre and is also working on an improvement to the bar game he invented, the kiss meter. His latest version will include a scoreboard so couples can compete for high scores. If anything he could use a hand getting the cuckoo project done, Rasmussen said. "I'd love to have a volunteer or two to help out," he said.