The Oldest Bell in Chicago

On Sunday, December 10th, the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Chicago celebrated the 40th anniversary of the installation of their single bell. This is no ordinary bell, however. This bell was bought from St. Mary’s Parish Church in Everton, Bedfordshire, England. Misfortune for St. Mary’s meant a welcome opportunity for the Church of Our … Continue reading The Oldest Bell in Chicago

All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church, Chicago

Dear readers, All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church in Chicago has not one bell tower, but two! The one on the left is leased by T-Mobile for their use. The one on the right has the good stuff...three bells cast by McShane of Baltimore in 1914. They were installed shortly after the church was erected. … Continue reading All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church, Chicago

St. James Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL

A local celebrity graciously showed me the St. James Lutheran Church bells--Warren Gast, the recently-retired principal of St. James Lutheran School. In crossing the street from the office to the church, at least two people gleefully shouted their greetings and chatted with us. And the street was given an honorary name after him! So I … Continue reading St. James Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL

Buddhist Temple of Chicago

On Nirvana Day, the annual Buddhist festival that recalls the death of the Buddha and his attainment of Nirvana, I visited the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. Bill Bohlman and Rev. Patti Nakai warmly welcomed us. Tom Corbett rang the kansho (bell) before the service and kindly allowed us to film him. The Buddhist tradition uses … Continue reading Buddhist Temple of Chicago

Silent Bells of Downtown Chicago III

I have a special treat for you: recordings of the now-silent bells in the 11 South LaSalle Street Building! You'll recall that these four bells form a clock chime and chimed an original composition "Samheim." The bell pitches are B-flat--E-flat--G--B-flat. A nice E-flat major chord in second inversion. So these are the bells you would … Continue reading Silent Bells of Downtown Chicago III

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. 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 … Continue reading Silent Bells of Downtown Chicago II

Silent Bells of Downtown Chicago

I've written about the digital bells you hear in downtown Chicago here and here, but there are other bells...real bronze bells, up in those tall skyscrapers. There's some in the Metropolitan Tower, which is a blog post for another time, and there are four in the 11 South LaSalle Street Building, otherwise known as the … Continue reading Silent Bells of Downtown Chicago