Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Memorial Plaza

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Institution Name: Mount Union College
Original/Historic Place Name: Bicentennial Bell Tower and Memorial Hall
Location on Campus: center of the NE end of campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1921original construction; Memorial Hall
1976original construction; Bell Tower McVey, William
1996original construction; Memorial Plaza
Designer: William McVey
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1921-present (2006)memorial site
ca. 1976bell tower

As part of the celebration of the Bicentennial of the United States, Mount Union erected a 60-foot steel bell tower constructed in the Quad, an open grass area at the center of campus. Designed by Cleveland sculptor William McVey, the tower carries the 3,000 pound Chapman Hall bell, which had been cast in 1871 and signaled class changes until 1907.

In 1996, bronze tablets containing the names of the 687 men and women of Mount Union College and the 1,965 others of Alliance and the vicinity who took part in uniformed service in World War I were moved to the site of the bell tower to create Memorial Plaza. The bronze plaques had been in Soldiers' Memorial Hall, built on campus in 1921, which was razed due to structural problems.

Since the moving of the plaques, Memorial Plaza has been the site of other patriotic events at the College, including "A Day of Remembrance, Prayer and Hope," a vigil held on the one-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks.


Osborne, Newell Yost. A Select School: The History of Mount Union College and an Account of a Unique Educational Experiment, Scio College. Alliance, OH: Mount Union College, 1967.

Saffell, John E. Wake the Echoes: An Updated History of Mount Union College. Alliance, OH: Mount Union College, 1996.


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Last update: November 2006