Altgeld Bell Tower chimes discontinued indefinitely for repairs


Jessica Jutzi

Altgeld Tower’s bell performances are being suspended indefinitely during repairs.

By Luke Cooper, Staff Writer

The bells at Altgeld Tower will be closed indefinitely as of March 19, according to a statement from the University News Bureau. Tours and chime performances will be discontinued due to repairs.

“The bell tower work is a small part of a great deal of necessary work to be done at Altgeld and Illini halls,” said Matthew Tomaszewski, the associate provost for capital planning. “We are still assessing the scope and cost of the proposed tower repairs.”

Chimes are restricted to the automated quarter-hour timekeeping function, Tomaszewski said. Volunteers will no longer be playing the chimes at noon.

These repairs are being done in part to resolve the tower’s American Disability Act and fire code violations found during inspections in October.

“The University had neglected the bell tower for decades,” said chimes player Cody Jones. “We’re nearly universally liked; this is a very frustrating situation for (chimes players).”

The repairs of Altgeld and Illini halls, which host the mathematics and statistics departments, are estimated to cost $90 million. Bell tower repairs will be in addition to that amount.

The Altgeld bells have been ringing constantly since 1920, with special performances held throughout the school year and chimes players playing at noon and other points throughout the day.  

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