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House of Clocks
3748 Sixth Avenue, Hillcrest

There was a time when a house clock had more inner works than a battery unit on the back. House of Clocks specializes in the repair and cleaning of such old clocks. Walking in is akin to entering a museum of timepieces. Owner Paul Smith is not just a repairman but a clock historian. The walls are covered with mantle clocks dating back a century or more, and the floor is covered with grandfather clocks from every possible period. Smith says that maintenance is the best way to prolong the life of your clock; he suggests a cleaning every two to three years. Another of Smith's specialties is music boxes -- not the gift-shop figurine kind, but the bulky, wood-cased Reginas, Symphoniums, and Polyphons from the Victorian era that play metal discs. The sound is haunting and beautiful. If he has one in the shop, he will gladly demonstrate it for you. Even though he always looks swamped, Smith works quickly. Most repairs are done within one to two weeks. Many of the clocks are for sale at reasonable prices. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.; closed Sundays.

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