10 things to celebrate about the Campanile

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FEBRUARY 05, 2014

There’s a special birthday in Berkeley this week. The beginnings of Sather Tower, better known as the Campanile, have been overlooking the university and the bay beyond it for 100 years. Last Friday, Jan. 31, marked the centennial of the completion of the tower’s steel frame. As the campus begins to plan the festivities to commemorate the tower, here are some things we should all celebrate about the most iconic building on Berkeley’s campus.

1. At 307 feet, the Campanile is the third tallest bell and clock tower in the world. Meanwhile, Hoover Tower at Stanford is 285 feet (just saying).

2. The steel skeleton of the tower was finished in 1914, but because the bells for the carillon were cast in England and World War I broke out in mid-1914, they did not arrive in Berkeley until 1917.

3. However, on Jan. 31, 1914, a group had a “sky banquet,” aka a dinner at the tower’s observation platform, to celebrate the completion of the tower’s structure.

4. According to Steve Finacom from the physical and environmental planning department at Capital Projects, the finished tower (complete with its bells) was dedicated in 1918.

5. The Campanile’s centennial will be officially celebrated next year during Homecoming weekend 2015.

6. Fun fact: The Campanile is on Twitter @UCB_Campanile. Check out the handle for incredibly insightful tweets like this one:

7. If you want to learn more about the bells, there are several levels of carillon appreciation and education: the Berkeley Carillon Institute, the Berkeley Carillon Guild and the DeCal, where you can learn to play the carillon.

8. The Campanile is the perfect way to drive home the point that, at some point, we #beatStanfurd.


9. And also to show our general knowledge of Star Wars symbols.


10. In general, it’s a great platform to show off our true blue-and-gold school pride.

Getting ready for the big game

Image sources: Cyrus Farivar, TJ Gehling and Keoki Seu under Creative Commons

Contact Jessica Rogness at  or on Twitter


FEBRUARY 05, 2014

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