Climb to the top a physical challenge, but elevator can take
visitors unable to climb the stairs nearly halfway up
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (July 24, 2007) – Seems easy from the outside. Looking up at Moser Tower, the 160-foot-tall structure housing the Millennium Carillon in downtown Naperville, you might be inclined to think, “Climb the stairs to the top? No problem.”
But at 14 stories high – and about 10 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty – the hike to the open-air Observation Deck poses some physical challenge; mental, too, if you’re sensitive to heights. The reward, however, is a one-of-a-kind vantage of the city, the Riverwalk and Centennial Beach, and on clear days, the Chicago skyline.
“Moser Tower is designed for everyone to enjoy, and we wholeheartedly encourage the public to come and explore the interior of Naperville’s latest downtown jewel regardless of physical limitations,” said Brien Nagle, chairman of the Millennium Carillon Foundation.
“There are ramps leading inside to an elevator that can take visitors nearly halfway up to a platform where they can share a splendid view of the surroundings and the largest of the carillon’s 72 bells,” Nagle said. “Ascending higher requires climbing up to eight more flights of stairs. Each of us has our limits, but the journey up Moser Tower will engage your senses however high you decide to climb.”
The hike to the top of Moser Tower, from ground level to the Observation Deck, is roughly equal to walking up the stairs of two of the Van Buren parking garages in downtown Naperville stacked on top of each other. Should a visitor need to take the elevator up to the first half of the tower, the climb to the Observation Deck would be about equal to walking up the Van Buren parking garage stairs from top to bottom.
But several stops along the way to the Observation Deck offer their own unique views and insights into the workings of the carillon, such as the:
- Lower Belfry, where “Big Joe,” at nearly 6 tons, the largest of the carillon bells, hangs inscribed with an inspirational poem about music and its connection to life
- Carillonneur’s Cabin, the operating post of the instrument, where musicians offer their weekly Summer Recital Series and concerts for holidays and special events
- Upper Belfry, where the smaller, higher-pitched bells encircle the rafters
The stairs are enclosed by railings 4-1/2-feet high, a secure barrier for children and adults, but as you climb past the Carillonneur’s Cabin, the wide concrete walls that form the base of Moser Tower begin to dwindle away. The upper reaches are more open and airy, something to be considered by people who are sensitive to high places.
“Safety has always been paramount in completing Moser Tower for the public to tour, and we’ve accomplished that goal with the help of the project’s architects, builders and city inspectors,” said Brad Wilson, Director of Recreation for the Naperville Park District, which is in charge of operations and upkeep. “We welcome anyone to come and enjoy the tower up to the level they are comfortable.”
In regards to safety, the Park District reminds each touring party into Moser Tower of its rules:
- Do not throw, drop or release any items from the tower
- No food or beverage
- No smoking
- No climbing on, leaning over or hanging from the railingsDo not touch the bells, equipment or cabling
- No running on the stairs or on the observation decks; walk at all times
- Individuals unable to walk the stairs are encouraged to use the elevator and remain on the Gallery Level observation deck; please notify your tour guide if you are unable to climb the stairs
- Stay with your group at all times
- Children under age 18 will not be admitted on a Moser Tower tour without adult supervision
- No unauthorized person is permitted in the tower when the bells are sounding/playing
- Facility is under video surveillance
Public tours of Moser Tower will begin with the public dedication on July 29. A lottery system of tickets will be handed out starting at noon on Sunday, prior to the dedication. Numbers will be called at 1:30 p.m. and winners will be given up to four spots each and asked to schedule their tour times between 2 and 6 p.m.
Following the public dedication, Moser Tower will be open to tours on a first-come, first-served basis for those registering at the adjacent Visitors Center and paying a $3 admission for ages 5 and older. Children ages 4 and under will be admitted free. Moser Tower tours will be available to the public on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m. Tours will continue through October or until the Park District determines that cold weather or early darkness has jeopardized tour safety.