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Old Main Bell Tower Restoration Set to Begin Monday

by on May 03, 2019 5:00 AM

A months-long project to repair and restore Penn State's Old Main bell tower will kick off Monday.

The project is intended to extend the bell tower’s life as an iconic campus landmark and is the result of surveying work conducted during the summer of 2017.

“Minimal aesthetic impact” is expected from the College Avenue view of Old Main starting Monday, with “more substantial impact” in the following weeks due to scaffolding surrounding the bell tower for the duration of the project.

Maintenance will include stone and brick masonry repointing, limited stone replacement, new roofing membrane above portico and landings, waterproofing, and the addition of low-profile roof fall protection systems.

All entrances to Old Main will still be accessible, with temporary sidewalk closures expected at the start and end of the project for equipment delivery and removal. The Old Main chimes will be turned off during work hours — about 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays — for the duration of the project in the interest of safety.

The project, which is part of a multi-phase maintenance project on Old Main, is supposed to be finished sometime this fall, depending on weather conditions. The East Staircase has already been reconstructed, and some slate shingles on the building have already been replaced.


Elissa Hill is managing editor for Onward State.
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