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Sounds of bells in iconic Moser Tower still silent as New Year begins


Above / Moser Tower with a 72-bell carillon is located along the Naperville Riverwalk at 433 Aurora Avenue. (PN Photo, Dec. 31, 2022)

Updated Post, Jan. 3, 2023 / During today’s meeting of the Riverwalk Commission Planning, Design & Construction Committee, Bill Novack, Director of TED  (Transportation/Engineering/ Development) at City of Naperville, reported that the final punch list to finish Moser Tower construction is in progress. The next Riverwalk Commission meeting is set to begin at 7:30AM Wed., Jan. 11, 2023, in the lunchroom at the Naperville Municipal Center.

Original Post, Jan. 1, 2023 / 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” attempted to alert readers that the sounds of the bells would be silent again on Dec. 31.

Naperville City Carillonneur Tim Sleep confirmed Saturday that he is looking forward to a springtime reopening and scheduling a summer concert recital series for 2023. 

“The tower is still closed to us,” said Sleep, noting that word from the City is that the fencing that encloses the work in progress is expected to be down by the spring. “We have gone ahead and reached out to carillonneurs for the summer series. I think it’s mostly down to outdoor work and landscaping.” 

Illuminated in red and green with lasers to add to the attractive celebration, the iconic Moser Tower with its 72-bell carillon was often the “go-to” place to welcome in the New Year with sounds of “Old Lang Syne.” (PN File Photo)

Still, peaceful memories of ringing in the New Year at Moser Tower along the Naperville Riverwalk resonate with fondness for many families, friends and neighbors. In the past, the Naperville Park District has hosted “Countdown at the Carillon,” a scheduled bell-ringing event on New Year’s Eve during festivities at 6PM and again at 11:30PM with sounds of music for folks gathered at the base of Rotary Hill.

The iconic landmark with its 72-bell carillon was imagined in the mid-1990s and begun in 1999 to commemorate the beginning of the third millennium and 21st century. At 160-feet tall, the towering structure that houses the large 9-octave carillon instrument currently is undergoing some rehabilitation that has silenced its bells from ringing in recent years.

Back in the late 1990s, Big Joe, the largest of 72 carillon bells, was delivered through the streets of downtown Naperville to Moser Tower. (PN file photo)

Considering the carillon was quiet on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2022, and “a bell is no bell ‘til you ring it,” we know some folks went outside with any old bell at midnight and rang it for a few moments.

Did you hear it?

Mindful of a spoken line in the holiday classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” consider that “every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.”

Create memories and goodwill every day with comfort, joy and peace throughout 2023.

During strolls along the Riverwalk with Moser Tower in the distance, observe that those noisy, honking Canada geese are happy finding food without the help of human handouts on a cloudy last day in December. Let wildlife be wild. (PN Photo, Dec. 31, 2022)

Happy New Year! Enjoy the great outdoors and the greater good.

Margaret and Harold Moser played vital roles in the growth and development of Naperville during the 20th Century. The Mosers were grounded in the belief that giving back to their community was essential to creating a quality place to live. Their generous contribution to the tower that holds the Millennium Carillon bears their name. (PN Photo)

Moser Tower and Millennium Carillon was conceived in 1998 by a small group of Naperville families, and in a short time the vision spread to many other individuals, families, service clubs and businesses that donated the funds to make the vision a reality.

“Big Joe” (PN File Photo)

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.

“Can you hear it?” was a question that resonated during times that welcomed the community to learn and listen to the large musical instrument intended to represent the New Millennium, encased in the tall Moser Tower. (PN File Photo)

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.

For more information about can-do community spirit and how the Riverwalk along the DuPage River was built brick-by-brick, growing to become the city’s natural treasure from Jefferson Ave. to Hilliside Road, visit Naperville Riverwalk.





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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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