Halim Time and Glass museum opens in Evanston – Consumer News

on Sep27

26 September 2017 | 5:00 pm

The Halim Time & Glass Museum opens in Evanston today as what its founder believes is the world’s first museum dedicated solely to clocks and stained glass. It’s been an 11-year labor of love for hobbyist Cameel Halim, along with his wife, Hoda, and three daughters.

“We believe that when items get to this level, you don’t own it—you just keep it for a while,” says Halim. “Most of our clocks are 300 years old; they’re made in the 1700s. They’re such important items. They’re not meant to look at yourself, you’re meant to share it with the public.”

The museum features 1,100 clocks from around the globe and 80 stained glass pieces—some as tall as 25 feet—in a five-story building at 1560 Oak St. in Evanston.

Eight rooms are dedicated to clocks and watches, with each room specific to the collection’s home country. Halim has a clockmaker and watchmaker on staff to restore the pieces. Some clocks’ screws are so small that workers must use a microscope to wind them, Halim says. In addition to showcasing the art and mechanics of watches, Halim believes his museum rewrites history.

“Everybody thinks Henry Ford invented the assembly line, but 100 years before, (clockmaker) Eli Terry built 4,000 clocks in three years,” Halim says. “We proved that American watches were really the birth date of fine manufacturing.”

Four rooms are dedicated to stained glass. Halim is building a room for traveling exhibits, and he hopes to eventually partner with other museums and share collections.

On the museum’s third floor is a banquet hall with a Tiffany ceiling and rooftop garden that can accommodate 250 people. Halim says he hopes to rent the space out for weddings. He declines to say what it cost to build the for-profit museum, but told the New York Times last year that it was “several million dollars.” He says he financed the project using private funds and a small bank loan for the building. Halim is a Wilmette-based property investor who owns at least 20 buildings in the Chicago area. “We really did the museum without any government grants; we did not collect any donations,” he says. “We built it as a business, and we hope that the museum will support itself.”

Halim says he found an appreciation for stained glass after he immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. He says he left his native Egypt to escape a tide of socialism. When Halim arrived in America, he marveled at the huge churches built in the 1800s. But he felt depressed when he saw the buildings’ stained glass windows covered in soot. He wondered what happened to the windows when churches were torn down. “Somebody in New York can buy a painting by Norman Rockwell, but windows, nobody could do it because they’re really big,” he says. He started buying windows and restoring them piece by piece.

The museum is open daily except Mondays. Admission is $17.



Previous postChip and Joanna Gaines to Say Goodbye to 'Fixer Upper' After Current Season Next postBBB Warns of Fraudulent Puppy Sales


Chicago Financial Times


Copyright © 2020 Chicago Financial Times

Updates via RSS
or Email