Campanile Restoration Project, 1994

Campanile restoration      Campanile Restoration 1


After almost seventy years of wind and weather, the iconic Campanile on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa was ready for substantial restoration in 1994.  Bricks were cracked, the foundation was settling, and large stones around the base were bulging outward.  While the structure was likely in little danger of collapsing, it did need something much more significant than a quick tuckpointing. 

Most of the work was carried out over the summer and fall of 1994, simultaneously with the major renovation of the adjacent Rod Library.  Consequently, a good portion of that part of campus was torn up and inaccessible to the public for a few months.  Construction work in that area even displaced Homecoming campaniling activities that year.

In early August 1994, someone, likely from the Facilities Planning staff, took several rolls of film of the work as it stood at that time.  Shortly before he retired, Associate Vice President for Facilities Morris Mikkelsen brought these photos to the University Archives.  A series of photos, shot day by day during the whole project, would certainly be interesting.  However, this series of images gives a nice look at what was happening in the middle of the work.  The photos confirm that the brick cladding was in very bad shape and needed to be replaced completely.  Other photos show moisture damage to the interior and at least slight deterioration of the limestone trim.


Damaged Base

Campanile base, 1994


Campanile restoration, 1994


Damaged Interior

Damaged interior


Damaged Cladding Brickwork

Campanile brickwork

Damaged brickwork

Damage near clock face


Drilling a Test Core

Drilling a core

Drilled core 

Cladding Removal

Campanile Restoration 2

Near top of Campanile

Campanile restoration


Bricks near top of Campanile 

 Near belfry

Limestone Trim

Limestone trim


Cleaning limestone trim

Campanile restoration

Long Range Views of the Project

Campanile restoration      Campanile Restoration 3



Essay by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, with scanning by Library Assistant Joy Lynn, October 2014; last updated January 30, 2015 (GP).

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