Wikia

Futurepedia

Hill Valley Courthouse

2,485pages on
this wiki
Talk0
"Ladies and gentlemen, as mayor of Hill Valley, it gives me great pleasure to dedicate this clock to the people of Hill County. May it stand for all time!"
—Mayor Hubert, September 5, 1885
Marty-courthouse-1955

Marty looks up at the courthouse clock in 1955.

The Hill Valley Courthouse and Clock Tower, also known as the Hill County Courthouse was a structure in Courthouse Square in Hill Valley, California.

Description

Courthouse-backlot

Hill Valley Courthouse

The Hill Valley Courthouse and clock tower were of a common construction and architectural style seen across the United States in the 1800s and 1900s. It was composed of red brick, concrete, and white trim. Two black cougar statues flanked the clock. The clock dial used "IV" for the number four, instead of "IIII" which is usually found on clocks with Roman numerals (except for Big Ben in London). On each quarter hour, the clock would chime.

History

Back to the Future Part III - the new clock tower01:00

Back to the Future Part III - the new clock tower

The new clock tower, 1885

The courthouse underwent several changes over the course of its 130-year history. It was first constructed in 1885. On September 3, 1885, it almost experienced its first hanging by Buford Tannen before Emmett Brown intervened. A ceremony held during the September 5th Hill Valley Festival started the clock at 8:00 pm. It would be completed the following year alongside the Shonash Ravine Bridge project.

From the 1880s until at least the 1950s, the building was the county courthouse with a lush lawn with walking paths that led from the building to the corners of the block.

The courthouse was used as a shelter during the San Francisco Earthquake during 1906.[1]

Up until some point in 1929, there was a ladder leading up to the top of the Courthouse, but it was removed due to some jumping incidents.[2]

In 1931 when Emmett was 17 he worked at the courthouse as a junior clerk with his father as the judge at the time. Also before Marty McFly went back to June 13, 1931 to find him while he was in Edna Strickland's apartment he sees a picture of him dead on the steps of the courthouse in a newspaper dated (while looking for the date that he was stuck in back in the past).

On August 25, 1931, Einstein is stranded on the roof of the Courthouse after riding Emmett's rocket-powered car. He's saved by Doc shortly after.

On October 12, 1931, Emmett is sulking at the top of the Courthouse. After a lightning strike, he gets tangled on a rope tied to the statue, only to be saved by Marty. On the night after, Marty would run into Arthur McFly and Trixie Trotter before leaving 1931.

The clock tower was struck by lightning during an electrical storm on November 12, 1955. This fused the clock's internal mechanism and had stopped the clock at 10:04 pm permanently. Despite efforts trying to repair or replace the damaged clockwork and the Hill Valley Preservation Society kept it in this condition as part of the town's history and heritage. Though the courthouse's lightning rod could provide sufficient electrical grounding to absorb lightning strikes it had completely severed. Originally, the tower was simply struck by lightning and the clock rendered useless, but after Marty visited 1955, a experiment involving hooking a cable up to the antenna was created by Doc Brown to send Marty back to the future.

Back to the Future - Climbing the clock tower01:31

Back to the Future - Climbing the clock tower

Climbing the clock tower (part I)

Back to the Future - Climbing the clock tower Part 200:30

Back to the Future - Climbing the clock tower Part 2

Climbing the clock tower (part II)

Over time, many unsuccessful efforts were put into place to replace the clock tower from the current mayor in office.

In 1985, the Department of Social Services occupied the building, and the lawn had been replaced by a parking lot. In the alternate 1985, the courthouse had turned into casino-hotel with over 27 floors.

In an alternate 1986 where Hill Valley is a repressed dystopia, the clock tower has become Citizen Brown's monument to cold efficiency and order. Marty crashes the DeLorean into a billboard showing Citizen Brown embracing the clock tower. Brown's office is located in the room directly behind the clock face. In this timeline the clock is actually functioning, meaning that in this timeline, First Citizen Brown promptly repaired the damage done by the lightning strike in order to maintain his symbol of efficiency.

Hill Valley Courthouse 1990

The new clock tower in 1990.

In 1990, in the revised timeline, a new clock was installed on the Hill Valley Courthouse, despite efforts from the Hill Valley Preservation Society.

2015

The 2015 courthouse and its large, futuristic-looking darkened windows can be seen in the background of this publicity shot of Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Freddie posing with the DeLorean time machine on the set of Back to the Future Part II.

In 2015, in the original timeline, the courthouse had large darkened windows at the front and had become a shopping mall with underground shops with a lush garden and a decorative pond in the courtyard. The clock, however, was still non-functional after sixty years.

Gallery

Appearances

Wiki-shrinkable
Futurepedia has a collection of images and media related to Hill Valley Courthouse.

References

  1. Info comes from a Self Tour box in 1986B.
  2. Mentioned by Emmett in Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 2: Get Tannen!.

External links

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki