A Welcome Week for Bells
The Memorial Belltower enjoyed a Wolfpack Welcome Week of its own, and we got a peek.
Twenty-three more bells arrived on Aug. 11 as part of the ongoing completion and restoration project — including the very smallest bell that bears the signature Wolfie and measures just over 6 inches in diameter. The team from B.A. Sunderlin Bellfoundry, assisted by New Atlantic Contracting staff, carried bells up the tower’s new interior stairs, using a ladder and a rope pulley as needed. Each was then bolted into place in the belfry frame among the tower’s 18 largest bells, installed earlier this summer. Workers had to remove the roof and use a crane to place that frame and the larger bells, several of which tip the scales at more than 1,000 pounds; the ones installed last week weigh roughly 8 to 50 pounds.
Remaining members of the new 55-bell carillon are expected later this month. Also still to come: bell hardware like turnbuckles, cranks, wires and clappers, as well as the console where a carillonneur can sit and equipment for playing the bells remotely. Project work, including restoration of the Shrine Room and its marble, completion of the lowest portion of stairs in that room, installation of an ascending path to make the site more accessible and more, will continue over the next few months.
View the gallery for a close-up look at the Belltower’s newest additions. Photos by Becky Kirkland and Taylor Pardue.