The historic four-faced clock perched atop the Clock Tower Building in lower Manhattan has won a precedent-setting battle over its preservation: A state appeals court has ruled that a private developer may not undo its great mechanical inner workings in order to create a giant triplex condominium in the space around it.

Advocates for the clock say the decision is a monumental one: They argue that it makes clear that the city Landmarks Preservation Commission may prevent the residential privatization of interior landmarks, of which there are 117 across New York City, including the majestic clock, which sits atop the western end of a neo-Italian Renaissance style building at 346 Broadway.

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