The village of Niles is revamping a commercial traffic corridor into a community destination for work and play. A park, outdoor concert grounds, and community center will form the core of the walkable Touhy Triangle, while commercial and residential properties will fill it out. The Leaning Tower of Niles, a half-size replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa built in the 1930s, serves as an indelible landmark and soundmark of this area. In all, seven bells, three historic and four new, were re-mounted at the top of the tower to ring out their distinctive sounds as a symbol of community spirit and pride.
Community Bell Advocates, LLC advised the village of Niles in three phases. First, we researched the founders, ages, and provenance of the five extant bells to determine their historic value. In short, these bells are significant: three belonged to a single church in Cavezzo, Italy and were cast in the 17th and 18th centuries, while one bell was cast from a formerly unknown bell foundry in the early 20th-century United States. Second, CBA advised on the suitable mounting and performance options for the bells, managed a competitive bidding process with bell firms, and oversaw the contracted firm’s work. Third, CBA advised the village of Niles on programming opportunities to strengthen the sense of community spirit and pride in the Leaning Tower of Niles and create worthwhile benefit for their investment. On September 5, 2020, the bells began ringing again, playing tunes at 9 am, noon, 3 pm, and 6 pm.