North Carolina State University
The Memorial Belltower at North Carolina State University

After nearly a century, tower at North Carolina State University will get bells

Nov. 23, 2017
Construction of the Memorial Belltower on the Raleigh campus begin in 1921, and it was dedicated in 1949, but the edifice has never actually had bells.

After nearly a century, the iconic bell tower on the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh will finally get its bells.

The Greensboro News & Record reports that the university will use a gift from an alumnus to buy and install bells atop Memorial Belltower.

Construction on the bell tower started in 1921 to honor 35 alumni killed in World War I. Depression and war delayed the project. The stonework wasn't completed until 1939, and the finishing touches weren't added until the late 1940s. The tower was formally dedicated in 1949.

The 115-foot granite landmark stands at the northeast corner of the campus and appears in the university's official seal. But the bell tower has no actual bells — just speakers that play chimes.

The university plans to install 54 bells, a carillon and interior steps to complete the original plans for the bell tower. The project also will include renovations and structural repairs to the tower and upgrades to the surrounding plaza. The work is expected to take about three years.

The money to complete the project comes from Bill and Frances Henry of Gastonia, N.C. Bill Henry and his two younger brothers are North Carolina State graduates. Bill and Frances’ son is a freshman in the College of Engineering.

The amount of the donation has not been disclosed. 

YouTube video from North Carolina State:

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