Above / With memories of Naperville City Carilloneur Tim Sleep and carilloneur Sue Bergren performing concerts for New Year’s Eve at Rotary Hill along the Riverwalk, the new 2020 concert schedule is coming in April. The 160-ft. tower reopens for tours in May, according to Sleep. But first up, the Naperville City Council will consider an agenda item regarding future care and maintenance of Moser Tower during the Tues., March 3, 2020, City Council meeting.
Moser Tower Update, Dec. 31, 2022 / In response to inquiring minds, regarding New Year’s Eve festivities at Moser Tower along the Naperville Riverwalk, recent PN posts with “things to do for New Year’s Eve” have tried to alert readers that the sounds of the bells will be quiet again this year. The structure that houses the large carillon instrument currently is undergoing some rehabilitation that has silenced its bells from ringing in recent years. Stay tuned for news of a summer concert schedule for 2023.
Moser Tower Update, March 3, 2020 / Naperville City Council voted unanimously to move forward to request the preparation of documents and drawings for a bid in support of Alternative Number One. The bid will be brought back to the nine-member City Council for final approval. Projections are that repairs will cost about $1.5 million. The cost for the plans to accommodate the scale of the project was previously budgeted at $100,000.
Moser Tower Update, Feb. 28, 2020 / The City of Naperville Riverwalk enews reports: At its March 3, 2020, meeting, the Naperville City Council will consider an agenda item regarding Moser Tower and alternatives about how to address the needs of the tower moving forward.
The full agenda item, which includes the Riverwalk Commission’s recommended alternative for Moser Tower, rationale for the Riverwalk Commission’s recommendation and supporting reports, is now available to view by clicking here. At their Feb. 12, 2020, meeting, the Riverwalk Commission unanimously approved alternative number one, repairing Moser Tower in one phase to address the structural condition of the tower, as their recommended alternative to Council.
Moser Tower Update, Feb. 12, 2020 / During the regularly scheduled Riverwalk Commission meeting on Wed., Feb 12, the 11 voting Commissioners of the 13-member Commission unanimously agreed with its Planning, Design and Construction (PDC) Committee to recommend repairing and maintaining the 160-ft. tower with 72 commemorative carillon bells to the Naperville City Council. (Note: City Staff and Park District Staff do not vote.)
In addition to supporting Alternative #1, the PDC further “recommends that the tower be repaired in a single phase instead of multiple phases over several years,” according to a document prepared by Bill Novack, Director of Transportation/Engineering/Development, who serves the Riverwalk Commission as the City administrative employee.
Reasons single phase repair is preferred
1. Single phase being lower in cost than multiple phases
2. Completing the repairs in one season reduces impact to users of the Riverwalk and the carillon
3. The single phase would involve only one contractor, eliminating the contractor from one phase blaming another phase’s contractor for doing something incorrectly
4. The single phase would limit the negative public perception of how long it’s taking to do the repairs.
In summary the PDC recommends Alternative #1 with a preference for a single phase of construction, the document says.
The Riverwalk Commission, currently under the leadership of Chairman Geoff Roehll, recommended to support Alternative #1, allowing for repairs that would be accomplished in one phase as the best solution for the landmark at the base of Rotary Hill that has become an icon of Naperville.
Since 2015, the Commission has carefully and conscientiously considered many options for the future of Moser Tower, including demolition, that also comes with a high cost. During the February meeting, the conversation included gratitude to the consulting community, City staff, concerned citizens and Riverwalk devotees whose methodical input has helped engineers to craft “a very technical analysis” of needs and costs that assisted in their recommendation.
Alternative #1 calls for nearly $1.5 million to repair the tower without adding an enclosure. Maintenance costs annually are projected to be $26,667 over a period of 30 years.
Novack added that the recommendation is expected to go before the City Council on Tues., March 3, 2020.
Find more about the timeline of this initiative to assess the care and maintenance of Moser Tower at the bottom of this post under “Editor’s Notes.” The photos also highlight how Moser Tower is embraced throughout the year.
To PN… Just had to pass along the amazing news – James (Holzhauer) continues to impress me!
Holzhauer writes, “I’m known for wagers that represent significant numbers in my life, such as the dates of my wedding and my child’s birth. Last week’s Tournament of Champions final was Alex’s 8,030th Jeopardy episode, and my first thought was to donate $8,030 to the Lustgarten Foundation to celebrate the career of the real Greatest of All Time. But that would sell Alex short—he’ll have hosted 8,670 episodes when his contract runs out in 2022. So $8,670 seemed right.”
Additionally, Alex Trebek himself is making a PSA about pancreatic cancer that will air on this afternoon’ (3:30PM Thurs., Nov. 21) Jeopardy! (November 21 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day.)
Thanks to James, and continued supporters like you, my heart is very full and grateful for World Pancreatic Cancer Day today 💜
A video clip of Tim Sleep playing the Jeopardy! Jingle is below.
Ann Zediker, Local Organizer for Lustgarten Foundation Walk
More November Memories 2019
Seems like yesterday, Moser Tower at Rotary Hill along the Riverwalk was illuminated to show appreciation to all men and women who serve honorably in the U.S. military. For 2019, the Field of Honor with 2,019 American flags graces Rotary Hill. Thanks to all! (PN Photo Nov. 9, 2019)
Attention, Flag Donors! Due to snow and delay in takedown, the scheduled flag pickup has been moved. Instead of Tues., Nov. 12, flag pick up was scheduled from 9AM to Noon Sat., Nov. 16, still at Riverwalk Café.
2020 Tours of Moser Tower begin again next spring
The Moser Tower with the 72-bell Millennium Carillon is located along the Riverwalk, 443 Aurora Ave. across from Naperville Central High School, in downtown Naperville, Illinois. (PN Photo, Oct. 24, 2018)
Carillon Concerts in 2020 / To Be Submitted by Tim Sleep
Scroll down to “December 2019” for New Year’s Eve happenings.
Above / The 72 bells in Moser Tower are played using the keyboard pictured here. The keyboard is located in the enclosed air-conditioned cabin high in the tower and below the observation deck, now closed for the season. (Photo courtesy Marilyn Schweitzer)
Weekly Recital & Concert Schedule
Tim Sleep, City Carillonneur, prepares the weekly recital schedule. Look for the schedule to be posted and updated here from April through December 2020. As monthly concerts are finished, they likely will be deleted.
New Year’s Eve 2020
Dec. 31 Sun 5:30PM New Year’s Eve Family Concert
Dec. 31 Sun 11:15PM New Year’s Eve Duet Concert
A few details about the bell-ringing celebration on New Year’s Eve…
Naperville Park District invites the community to the Countdown at the Carillon, featuring both the Early Family Countdown at 6PM and the Traditional Countdown at midnight. The free events take place at the base of the Naperville Millennium Carillon in Moser Tower, located at 443 Aurora Ave., across from Naperville Central High School.
Festivities will begin at 5:30PM, with refreshments while supplies last outside Moser Tower. Entertainment will be magical until 6:30PM. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather, as the entire event is outdoors.
The Traditional Countdown will take place at midnight, with Carillon music beginning at 11:15PM. The music will feature carillonneurs such as Sue Bergren and Tim Sleep in a duet concert and likely will include selections from the “Nutcracker Suite,” a Viennese waltz, and “Try to Remember” from the musical, “The Fantasticks.” After the midnight countdown to the New Year, the bells will ring a Royal Peal, then will play “Auld Lang Syne,” and conclude with music from the “Royal Fireworks” by Handel.
So… Ring out the old and ring in the New Year with the Millennium Carillon Countdown. Cheers to peace and prosperity!
Whatever the season…
The iconic Moser Tower with the Millennium Carillon is a short distance from downtown Naperville, Naper Settlement, Nichols Library, Centennial Beach and North Central College.
Watch for schedule of tours to begin again in the springtime!
During the first weeks of April, Moser Tower is aglow with blue to heighten understanding for ADS during Autism Awareness Month. Throughout the year, the tower often is illuminated in colors that stand for the changing seasons, special days and different events. (PN Photo)
Can you hear it?
The big “Joe Naper” bell and 71 additional commemorative bells from generous donors help ring out the story of one of the largest musical instruments in the world, standing 14 stories high (about 10 feet higher than the Statue of Liberty) at the base of Rotary Hill along the Riverwalk to look toward the future in Naperville.
The bells sound the hour audibly throughout the day, with a single bong on the half hour.
Can you see it?
The Riverwalk park setting around the Moser Tower is open year-round during normal park district hours. Visitors are welcome to listen to the harmonic bells of the carillon at any of the scheduled performances. Many visitors bring collapsible lawn chairs. Concerts usually last about one hour.
From May through October, Moser Tower is open to the public on weekends, weather permitting. Visitors can climb the 253 steps to the observation deck near the top of the 160-foot tower, enjoy a spectacular view while learning about the workings of 72 different-sized bells and reading their engraved messages, and getting to know the unique features of one of the world’s largest musical instruments.
On a clear day, we highly recommend the climb to the observation deck of Moser Tower where you can see the Chicago skyline.
The Millennium Carillon in Moser Tower and the Visitor Center hours are from 10AM-4PM on Saturdays and from 12 noon-6PM on Sundays, late April through the last Sunday in October.
Beginning the last weekend in May, Friday hours (10AM-4PM) run through the second Friday in August.
Visitor Center (in the old Netzley House) admission is free of charge.
Guided tours, however, are $3 for ages 5 and older; children 4 years and under are free. Visitors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Guided group tours, for groups of 10 or more, are available by reservation at (630) 848-3619 or by email at email@example.com.
Concerts are open to the public and free of charge.
The Millennium Carillon and Visitor Center are located along the Riverwalk at the base of Rotary Hill at 443 Aurora Ave.
Can you use it?
Set along the Riverwalk at Rotary Hill, the iconic Millennium Carillon in Moser Tower is available for rental for weddings, anniversaries, monumental occasions and other once-in-a-lifetime events.
Some folks like to entertain guests before or after special events at a catered reception at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center’s Community Hall, located at Eagle Street and Jackson Avenue.
Many nearby restaurants in downtown Naperville as well as historic Meson Sabika also welcome special luncheons, receptions and dinners, too.
To reserve a date for Moser Tower, call (630) 848-5000 for details.
For everything you want to know about Naperville’s hospitality community, check out www.visitnaperville.com.
September 11, 2020
From noon to 12:30PM a special 30-minute concert on the 72 bells of the Millennium Carillon inside Moser Tower will play on Wed., Sept. 11. A solemn tolling of the “Big Joe” bell followed by “In Memoriam,” a carillon piece written following the events of September 11, 2001, meant to be played in bell towers throughout the world.
Carillon music can also be heard beginning at 5:30PM, just prior to the observance at 6PM at the Cmdr. Dan Shanower Sept. 11 Memorial along the Riverwalk. The Naperville Municipal Band also performs. The observance is hosted by the Exchange Club of Naperville.
Do you know Tim Sleep, City Carillonneur?
Tim Sleep was appointed Naperville City Carillonneur in 2007 where he teaches and performs regularly on the Millennium Carillon high up in the enclosed cabin in the Moser Tower. He has performed carillon recitals at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Gardens and guest recitals throughout the country. He is also an Instructor for the North American Carillon School.
Now in his fourth term as President of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), Sleep previously served as its Corresponding Secretary, then its Vice President. He has performed on the New Music recitals at various GCNA congresses.
First studying with Wylie Crawford in Naperville, then continuing with John Gouwens at the Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana, Sleep became a Carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America in 2004.
Sleep holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from North Central College and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.
A retired band director and middle school principal, Sleep is longtime church musician currently serving as organist for Knox Presbyterian Church in Naperville.
Why do some individuals call it “The Third Gift”?
In the tradition of Centennial Beach (1931) and the Riverwalk (1981), the Millennium Carillon (2000) is a gift from the people of the community for all future generations to enjoy.
“Big Joe,” the carillon’s biggest bell weighs 5.8 tons, was installed on March 24, 2000, and all 72 bells were in place by April 23, 2000.
The first concert was performed on June 29, 2000.
Many individuals, families and businesses that donated funds to help build Moser Tower with the 72-bell carillon are featured on a large plaque behind the tower near the Visitors Center. The plaque also recognizes the partnership with the City of Naperville and the Naperville Park District for their part in care and maintenance of the instrument.
Take a stroll around Moser Tower at Rotary Hill, hear it chime on the hour and half hour, and experience special concerts performed throughout the year.
For more information about the Riverwalk and how it was built brick-by-brick, growing to become the city’s natural treasure from Jefferson Ave. to Hilliside Road, visit Naperville Riverwalk.
Special Attention to Care & Maintenance
Editor’s Notes / Back in 2015, the Riverwalk Commission began laying the groundwork for maintaining the Riverwalk and related assets for generations to come. Moser Tower, built over a period of time at the turn of the millennium, was included in that long list. By taking an in-depth look at the current state of the structure, now 17 years old, caregivers can better plan for maintenance needs to be done in the future, and budget appropriately and wisely to meet those needs. The aim of the Commission, the City of Naperville and the Naperville Park District has been to best serve all contributors and taxpayers in the long run.
Thanks to an assessment released in the spring of 2017, interested vendors have proposed possible testing and solutions. And Riverwalk Commissioners say they’re taking a pause to evaluate all options. (Oct. 2017)
UPDATE, March 30, 2018 / Fast forward to March 26, 2018. That’s when scaffolding started going up, up, up daily and will continue through the first week in April to complete the assessment for future care and maintenance by taking additional samples from the concrete structure. Results of the Addendum #1 Naperville Riverwalk Moser Tower Assessment are expected to be reported to the Riverwalk Commission this summer for careful review, consideration and future recommendation.
As we keystroke this update on March 30 with the Carillon performance schedule provided by Tim Sleep, we’re mindful that today is National Pencil Day. Write it down. Get the point that fair and free markets activate successful economies. Remember National Pencil Day every March 30 by reading the essay called “I, Pencil.”
Think big, but focus on local connections whenever possible. Local matters most.
UPDATE, April 10, 2019 / For the past year, members of the Riverwalk Commission have been focused on the addendum for the Moser Tower Assessment. During the March 2019 meeting, City of Naperville Director of Transportation/ Engineering/Development Bill Novack (who serves as the City staff member on the Riverwalk Commission) stated that the report was distributed on March 2, 2019, via the Planning, Design & Construction Committee (PDC). The committee considered the information for its April PDC meeting, ultimately prepared to discuss their thoughts with a goal for the full Riverwalk Commission to come to consensus on a recommendation when final cost projections are complete. (Options under consideration are to repair all at once, repair in stages over multiple years, repair/enclose lower half of tower to protect elevator, or decommission. Proposed repairs now have been estimated to cost between $1.3 million and $2.4 million, less than originally estimated.)
Under the leadership of Riverwalk Commission Chairman Geoff Roehll, the Riverwalk Commissioners plan to take action on their recommendation in May that will be presented to the City Council, likely in June 2019. The final determination regarding the next steps for Moser Tower will be made by the Naperville City Council.
UPDATE, April 11, 2019 / Daily Herald “Panel offers early support for repairing Naperville’s Moser Tower”
Timeline for recommendations has been moved until early 2020. Stay tuned.
2018 March Madness connection…
And wouldn’t you know? On the Road to the Final Four NCAA Basketball Tournament in 2018, many fans noted a Naperville connection from the Moser Tower to 2018 March Madness. Loyola Coach Porter Moser originally hails from Naperville and he’s the nephew of Margaret and Harold Moser, the Naperville benefactors after whom Moser Tower is named.
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