aerial view of the belltower

The Memorial Belltower: A Legend in Stone

Originally built to pay tribute to those who fell in World War I, the Memorial Belltower has become the most visible icon of NC State and a symbol of sacrifice, pride and community. We're celebrating its amazing story — and its next chapter.

Throughout the coming months, follow along on this page as we share more about the history of the Belltower, the completion and restoration project that includes installation of long-awaited bells, the philanthropy supporting it, and the extraordinary memories our students, alumni, faculty and staff have made at what will soon be the Memorial Belltower at Henry Square.

A Vision Coming to Life

  • The project team restoring and completing the Belltower created this conceptual, fly-through visualization of how the site will look when the work is done. Some small details may change, but the beauty and power of the Belltower will ring true for years to come.
  • Missing campus? View the Belltower project’s progress via the live onsite camera feed.

Find Out More

In the fall of 2019, work began to restore the Belltower to full glory after decades of water damage. At long last, the speakers in the tower's belfry will be replaced by a full carillon of 55 bells, and other additions include a clavier playing cabin and interior stairs. Learn more about how the completion and restoration has been a century in the making and see how the project will progress.

Here’s the Latest

  • In the fall, the Belltower got a facial. Read about the exterior restoration and cleaning.
  • Since the start of 2020, much of the work has moved inside the tower. Take an updated peek inside the construction fence.
  • A time capsule will mark this moment in NC State history.

Memorial Belltower Completion and Restoration Project

NC State University’s Memorial Belltower was constructed in phases during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s to honor alumni who lost their lives in World War I. The design architect, William Henry Deacy of New York City, was involved with the project from its inception in 1920 through the cornerstone laying in 1921 and tower dedication in 1949.

The current Belltower project — set into motion by a transformational gift from Bill (’81) and Frances Henry to the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign in November 2017 — is adding bells and interior stairs that were never installed, due to the challenging financial times when work began so long ago. It also restores, upgrades and improves this vital symbol of the university community’s past, present and future. The project team is striving to maintain historic integrity while mitigating issues such as water infiltration, so that the tower will stand strong for years to come.

Learn More about the Belltower Project