The University Record, November 5, 2001

Burton Memorial Tower

  • 212 feet tall
  • 41 feet x 7 inches square
  • 19,848 square feet of floor space
  • Designed by Albert Kahn
  • Final cost = $243,664.61
  • Recent renovation = $1.8 million
  • Construction: reinforced concrete shell faced with limestone (1935–1936)
  • Dedicated Dec. 4, 1936
  • Named for U-M President Marion Leroy Burton (Presidency 1920–1925)

    Charles Baird Carillon

  • Mounted atop the Burton Memorial Tower
  • Tied for fourth heaviest carillon in the world
  • 55 bells cast in 1936 and 1975 (total weight 43 tons)
  • Largest bell: 12 tons; it strikes the hour
  • Smallest bell: 16.5 pounds
  • Bells hang 120 feet above campus
  • Bells are stationary—only the clappers move via mechanical linkage
  • Bells cast in Loughborough, England, by John Taylor and Co. Bellfoundry
  • Carillon donated by Charles M. Baird, U-M graduate, lawyer and U-M’s first athletic director

    In 1935–1936 when Burton Tower was erected, pulleys were used to raise buckets of concrete, other construction materials and the carillon’s bells. The photo at left shows the hoisting of the bourdon bell, the heaviest bell in the carillon and the one that strikes the hours. (Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)