Editor’s Note: Altgeld Tower that houses the carillon and chimes is currently closed for renovation. The chimes can still be heard, but are limited to an automated time-keeping function.
By Tiffany Clark
If, like me, you are always searching for adventures to do with your kids here is one with and air of mystery.
As we neared Altgeld Hall, my daughter cried out “It is a princess tower!” Already our imaginations were taking flight. Mosaic tiles and grand staircases fueled the wonder. But the narrow creaky wooden staircase that lead to the Chime Room give this outing its adventurous feel.
Chimesmaster Sue Woods is the person responsible for playing the bells daily. She also gives tours and explains her craft weekdays from 12:30 until the time she starts playing the bells, about 12:50. After her concert and the chiming of the hour, the kids were allowed to try out the practice keyboard and then ring one of the tower bells. I couldn’t leave all the fun for the children, I asked to ring one too.
What: Tour and Bell Concert
When: Weekdays 12:30 tour with concert at 12:50 until 1:00 p.m.
Where: Altgeld Hall (the cool stone building behind the Alma Mater Statue)
323 Altgeld Hall, 1409 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801. (217) 333-7007.
Appropriate for bigger kids. No strollers with all the stairs.
More information about the chimes can be found on the University of Illinois website here.