Village of Niles, IL

The village of Niles plans to revamp the area surrounding its Leaning Tower of Pisa replica into a community destination for work and play. A park, outdoor concert grounds, and community center will frame the tower, while commercial and residential properties will fill out the walkable Touhy Triangle. The Leaning Tower of Niles serves as an indelible landmark for the community, but it also serves as a soundmark. Three of the five historic bells at the top of the tower will be remounted to allow them to ring out their distinctive sounds once again.

Community Bell Advocates, LLC advised the village of Niles in three phases. First, we researched the founders, ages, and provenance of the five 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 while managing a competitive bidding process with bell firms. Third, CBA advised the village of Niles on programming opportunities to strengthen the sense of community 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.