Chime photo
Photo provided by MU
Manchester’s 100-year-old bells were removed from the Administration Building and will eventually be housed in a new tower on the campus mall.

Historic Chimes Removed from Administration Building

Heather Gierke

Manchester University removed the historic 100-year-old bells from the old Administration Building on Aug. 16 to prepare them for renovation as a new chime tower is being built.

The university hired an Ohio company to remove the iconic bells to refurbish them, to construct four additional bells, and to complete a new tower structure in the middle of the mall. The setup will include an electronic keyboard placed inside of Winger Hall is set to be completed spring or summer of 2022.

“The Manchester Chime is steeped in treasured history,” said Melanie Harmon, the Vice President of Advancement and the Executive Director of Development, in a press release.

The bells have been silent since 2019 when the old Administration Building closed. They used to ring out for 8 a.m. classes, at dinner time and were often used to commemorate special events including Commencement, weddings, and Homecoming.

The anniversary of their installation is quickly approaching, and after nearly 100 years, the bells are a little out of tune. President Dave McFadden said, “They’ll be taken down, and restored on the exterior, cleaned and things.”

The bells are massive, ranging in weight from 550 to 2,650 pounds. And in 1922, they were hosted by hand to the top of the tower.