In Portland, Maine there is a tower clock that has been brought down to the street level and enclosed in a small structure with glass sides. The booth protects the clock from curious fingers and from the elements, but allows viewing of the working movement from three sides.
I believe there is an unused tower clock movement which resides in the now obstructed clock tower on top of the Deeds building on Gorham street. If so, that clock could be restored and modified to run on street level. (Tower clocks usually had a weight that could drop the length of the tower. One located on the street either needs a deep hole below it or a mechanical means to periodically wind a weight that drops a much shorter distance.)
A working tower clock would be a fascinating and memorable street display for visitors to Lowell.
It is also practical because one or more clock dials can be arranged to display the time for whomever is passing by. Perhaps a community bulletin board or city notices could also reside on or within the building. Or, perhaps the small building could serve as a visitor kiosk of some sort.
For a city like Lowell, whose mill workers once lived by the sound of the bells of the mill clocks, this clock would be an apt reminder of our history as well as the fleeting and precious moments of our own lives. Surely, the clock and its broader meanings could be worked into National Historic Park tours.
Seeing the mechanical movement of a huge clock in action is a clear example of Yankee Ingenuity (many where made in Boston and Connecticut). This example might inspire young people to consider careers in engineering or mechanical trades. Shouldn't we encourage that here, of all places?