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History of Naperville's Millennium Carillon
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Published: 7/28/2007 12:49 AM

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History of Naperville's Millennium Carillon

Late 1997 -- Carillon idea first suggested by Chuck Seidel

Feb. 28, 1998 -- Stephanie Penick makes first formal pitch in front of a Celebration 2000 committee for a 49-bell carillon costing $1 million atop Rotary Hill

March 1998 -- Celebration 2000 group pulls out of monument plans, suggests supporters start their own group

August 1998 -- Naperville Carillon Foundation created; cost for expanded carillon now exceeds $1.5 million

October 1998 -- Royal Eijsbouts, of Asten, the Netherlands, chosen to create the 72 bells

December 1998 -- Bells go on sale to the public, costing between $2,000 and $70,000

April 1999 -- Harold and Margaret Moser donate $1 million to the foundation; the tower is named in their honor

April 1999 -- Carillon cost increases to $2.7 million

May 1999 -- The White House designates Naperville a "Millennium Community" for its carillon efforts

May 4, 1999 -- The last bell, costing $30,000, is purchased by an anonymous donor

May 8, 1999 -- The carillon's biggest bell, "Big Joe," weighing 5.8 tons, arrives in Naperville

June 11, 1999 -- Ceremonial groundbreaking held at the base of Rotary Hill

Aug. 18, 1999 -- Construction begins

November 1999 -- Cost estimates reach $6.5 million; the project is broken into two phases

December 1999 -- Naperville's Schoenherr family buys computer system to play songs on the carillon

January 2000 -- Illinois gives $100,000 for carillon construction

March 15, 2000 -- Carillon stands at 79 feet, one-half its final size

March 24, 2000 -- "Big Joe" installed

April 3, 2000 -- The remaining 71 bells arrive in Naperville

April 11, 2000 -- Dutch crews arrive to install the bells in partially completed tower

April 23, 2000 -- Last bell installed

May 18, 2000 -- The final piece of concrete is installed, reaching the top height of 158 feet

April 2000 -- First tune is played on the carillon, the Beatles' "Yesterday"

June 29, 2000 -- First official concert

September 2005 -- Naperville City Council votes to take over the carillon and use culture fund money to finish construction of Moser Tower

December 2005 -- Carillon shut down for short time after chunks of the concrete tower come loose from decay

September 2006 -- City pays off carillon's loan

May 2006 -- Second phase of construction begins

July 29,2007 -- Moser Tower dedicated, observation deck and renovated visitors center are unveiled

Source: Daily Herald reports