The Fuller Memorial Bell Tower at Phillips Academy is dedicated to alumni who died in service during World War I. Designed by noted architect Guy Lowell and based on the steeple of Boston’s Old South Meeting House, the tower is a cherished landmark; for over eighty years, its bells signaled daily events at the school. The bell tower had significantly deteriorated since its construction in 1923, suffering from chronic water penetration, masonry failure, and steel corrosion. The preservation strategy involved repair, restoration, and reconstruction.
Reusable portions of the tower were carefully disassembled and reassembled. The corroded steel frame and brick infill/cladding were demolished; new granite blocks carved with memorial inscriptions replaced fractured stones; and where difficult access complicates routine maintenance, fiberglass urns and column shafts replaced rotting wooden originals. Upper tiers of the tower were lowered to the ground and scaffolded for meticulous restoration by preservation carpenters. Practically all original timber structure and cladding is intact.
The ruined tower was rebuilt to exactly match the appearance and dimensions of the original. Five different types of bricks were used; the visual range provided the correct variations in final appearance. A touch-sensitive electronic system was installed for ringing the expanded carillon, with an accessible keyboard on the ground floor.