Silent Bells of Downtown Chicago II

Now onto the bells of the Metropolitan Tower at 310 South Michigan Avenue, which I alluded to last time.

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Metropolitan Tower

Emily Nunn, Chicago Tribune reporter, had the enviable opportunity in 2007 to see the top of the tower–and the bells–up close. Her article lays out most of what I know. I’ll add that these clock-chime bells (not carillon bells, as she describes them) were cast by the Meneely foundry in Troy, New York, just like the other set of silent downtown bells. This set chimed the Westminster Quarters (the same little ditty that Big Ben and three other bells chime in the Palace of Westminster in London). These bells were installed in 1924 and at some point went into disrepair. They were spruced up to play for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979. It’s not clear when they stopped playing after that point and what condition they are in now.

I wish I had some pictures to show you! But alas, I have none. Perhaps one day I’ll get to the top of the tower to see them.

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