Kaufmann's clock in Pittsburgh serves as wedding venue
August 12, 2013 8:00 AM
Karen Honacher and Dave McGee, center, wait to be married under the Kaufmann's clock on Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street on Sunday afternoon. Mr. McGee is a horologist who renovated the clock in 1998.
By Andrew McGill Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
David McGee is familiar enough with the former Kaufmann's clock, the famous timepiece at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street. He is its personal physician.
Since the 1980s, the Mount Washington clock doctor has tended to the 100-year-old landmark, helping it to continue not only marking minutes but serving as a central point of reference Downtown for generations of Pittsburghers.
On Sunday, the clock paid him back. At 1 p.m. sharp, Mr. McGee, 61, was married to Karen Honacher, 37, underneath the gilded gold hands he helped repair.
Couple exchange vows under the former Kaufmann's clock
Karen and David McGee exchange vows under the former Kaufmann's clock, Downtown. (Video by Nate Guidry; 8/11/2013)
"Everyone wants to have to big church wedding," he said. "But I have a tendency to have crazy ideas. You only come by the world once, you might as well make something different."
The Rev. Larry P. Homitsky presided over the ceremony, which was attended by two dozen family members and friends. It attracted a few unexpected guests as folks walking by stopped to watch -- and plenty of honks and applause when Mr. McGee leaned in to kiss the bride.
The clock master, who owns Pittsburgh Clock & Lock in Mount Oliver, has plenty of other prominent patients, including clocks at Kennywood Park, the former Joseph Horne Co. department store and Slippery Rock University's Old Main.
Though grandfather clocks make up most of his clientele, Mr. McGee has lately turned to teaching, hoping to pass on the lore he learned from his own mentors.
"It's always been a thing in the past where the clock masters passed on and all the information they had was gone," he said. "I'd like someone to get some of my knowledge."
But for now, there is married life to consider. Ms. Honacher, originally of West Virginia, admitted she was a bit shocked when her fiance first suggested they should marry underneath Kaufmann's clock. But she soon became taken with the idea of joining the landmark's 100-year legacy, a point. Rev. Homitsky took care to mention in his sermon.
"You have chosen this place as a symbol," he told the bride and the groom. "Meeting under the clock meant so many things, but they have one thing in common -- this is a special place."