Review the structure of the existing bell tower at the Lowell House dormitories to assess the possibility of removing the bells, which have some historical importance to a foreign nation’s state, and replacing them with a new set.
CBI’s had to determine how the bells could be safely removed to the ground with minimal damage to the building, and no damage to the bells. CBI researched the structure of the existing building at the Harvard University Archives to determine existing structural sizes and capacities. We also met with rigging and staging subcontractors, as well as general contractors to evaluate various methods of removal that would cause the least amount of damage to the building. The existing tower is a steel structure of the transitional period, completely encased in masonry. Terra cotta was used at the time, not only for bracing, but for fireproofing. The bells themselves are supported on wood timbers. Various options were proposed for moving the bells, including creating a platform at the window sill level, below the bells and moving them via dollies, as well as picking them from above with cranes. Each option had a cost involved and a certain amount of disruption to the building, as well as rebuilding costs. When complete, the tower must be restored to its original condition. CBI will specify those repairs, including providing elevations of the building, details of the wood replacement, construction, as well as waterproofing and flashing. Structural details will be provided to restore the column that will likely have to be removed in order to remove the largest bell.