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Inside the Belltower…

November 17, 2009

I got to tour NC State’s bell tower!

As a past student and current alumnus as well as employee – the bell tower holds a lot of  meaning to me. The bell tower is a part of our college seal and is almost as well known as our  Wolf mascot “Tuffy” ( or more commonly known as Mr. Wulf).  There is a ton of tradition and history around the bell tower and I was thrilled to have the chance to go inside of it.

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Bell Tower in front of Holladay Hall

The bell tower was originally designed in 1920 but was not completed until 1937 with many stops along the way.  The funniest thing about our bell tower is that there are no bells in the bell tower. There is a tiny room in Holladay Hall that plays sounds for each hour. There is currently a campaign to get real bells in the bell tower. You can learn more about that and look at really cool old pictures of the bell tower on bells.ncsu.edu

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NC State Bell Tower - 115 feet tall

Here are a few pictures from inside the tiny room where the music is played from.

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Original Keyboard that played the music

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One of the little notebooks where the music ladies kept track of what they played each afternoon

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Tape deck with the recorded sounds is under "lock and key"

After looking in the little room, we got to go inside the actual bell tower which was much smaller than I expected.

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The Door of the Bell Tower

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Some University Ambassadors inside listening to Dr. Stafford

Dr. Tom Stafford is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for NC State and he was our tour guide for the afternoon.  Dr. Stafford has been with NC State for a very long time and had a lot of personal stories from being around the campus. You can tell he loves the school and loves sharing information about it to others.  He was able to shed a lot of light onto why there are no bells in the tower, the history of the engraved names  in the marble and about the campus in general.

After he spoke we got the chance to climb the only ladder inside and peek into the top of the bell tower. I believe the original plans had a spiral staircase in the inside so people could climb to the top but that never got built so for now you can just peek up through the hole in the ceiling.

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The only way to look up into the bell tower. (that is not me)

Dr. Stafford also taught us a lot about the history of the college. I knew a lot of the general information from my time as a tour guide but it was still pretty interesting to hear about in more detail. We also got to hear the bell tower chime for 4:00 pm while we were inside :)

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Old NC State Seal

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View from of Hilsborough Street from the inside

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