Yesterday I made the climb to revisit two friends, the Rockefeller Memorial Carillon and Jim Fackenthal, the associate university carillonneur. This carillon is a real treasure—it is easily one of the most beautiful in the world (listen here) and the second largest by weight (72 bells weighing in at over 100 tons!). John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated the funds for the instrument in memory of his mother, Laura Spelman Rockefeller. Gillett & Johnston cast the gigantic bells and installed them in 1932.
First, the interior of the Chapel. Stunning!
Making our way up the approximately 250 stairs to the carillon console room.
Watch your head!
Halfway up we enter the mechanical room, where current and former bell ringing mechanisms abound.
Almost to the carillon console room, we encounter “Big Laura,” the bourdon. She weighs 18.5 tons! Much too large to capture all of her with my camera.
Jim during his expert performance of baroque arrangements.
During my trip I did not climb the additional steps to take in the view from the top of the tower. My husband, Chris Chung, took phenomenal photos of the view a while ago. Enjoy these instead!
Thanks for the tour, Rockefeller Chapel and Jim!