Campanile Restoration Project, 1994

Campanile restorationCampanile Restoration



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, 1994Campanile restoration, 1994

Damaged Interior

Damaged interior

Damaged Cladding Brickwork

Campanile brickworkDamaged brickwork

Damage near clock face

Drilling a Test Core

Mason drilling a core near the top of the CampanileCampanile test core being rinsed off 

Cladding Removal

Mason inspecting the bricks near the top of the CampanileCampanile during cladding removalDamage to the brickwork near the top of the Campanile

Brickwork near the top of the CampanileBrickwork and trim outside of the Campanile belfry

Limestone Trim

Limestone trim removed from Campanile exterior sitting inside Campanile belfry

Cleaning limestone trimCampanile restoration

Long Range Views of the Project

      Campanile Restoration


Essay by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, with scanning by Library Assistant Joy Lynn, October 2014; last updated January 30, 2015 (GP); citations added by Lydia L. Pakala; photos and citations updated by Graduate Assistant Eliza Mussmann April 19, 2023.