CALYX Engineers and Consultants is proud to announce they are the recipient of the Structural Engineers Association of North Carolina’s 2018 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award for Historic Preservation for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower.
The tower, a campus landmark, was renewed through a safety upgrade project that brought the interior into current code compliance and allowed continued access to the interior of this historic structure as well ensuring the safety of those climbing the tower. While closed to the public, each May graduating seniors climb the tower to enjoy the view and sign their names to the interior bricks. This long-held senior tradition is the cornerstone of senior week each spring.
CALYX performed a complete structural inspection and designed upgrades to the existing structure including railings, ladders, hatches, and fall protection anchor points. Wherever possible, the design was re-worked to ensure minimal changes to the historic structure while still providing a safe environment for students and staff.
“The bell tower is more than a building: It’s part of everyday life,” says Candace Whisenant, CALYX employee and UNC alumna. “You can see the spire of the tower and hear the chiming all over campus. After UNC victories, the tones of ‘Carolina Victory’ or ‘Hark the Sound’ help the campus celebrate. Being able to climb the tower and see the campus from a new perspective – it’s like, this is the moment – you’ve done it and now you’re moving from student to alumni.”