Rockefeller Memorial Carillon

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!

Rockefeller Chapel interior
Rockefeller Chapel interior

Making our way up the approximately 250 stairs to the carillon console room.

Rockefeller staircase
Rockefeller staircase
Rockefeller sign
Rockefeller sign

Watch your head!

passage to carillon above Chapel ceiling
passage to carillon above Chapel ceiling

Halfway up we enter the mechanical room, where current and former bell ringing mechanisms abound.

Rockefeller pneumatic ringing mechanism
Rockefeller pneumatic ringing mechanism
Rockefeller former clock mechanism
Rockefeller former clock mechanism

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.

Big Laura
Big Laura

Jim during his expert performance of baroque arrangements.

Jim at carillon console
Jim at carillon console

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!

view from Rockefeller Chapel
view from Rockefeller Chapel
view from Rockefeller Chapel 2
view from Rockefeller Chapel 2

Thanks for the tour, Rockefeller Chapel and Jim!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s