NAPERVILLE, Ill. (July 30, 2007) – Moser Tower, the 160-foot concrete and steel structure housing the Millennium Carillon, opened for public tours for the first time on Sunday, July 29, following an eloquent and exciting dedication ceremony.
The Moser Tower dedication kicked off at noon with a prelude recital for picnickers to enjoy as they spread out across Rotary Hill, at the base of the tower, staying close to the shade of the trees on this very warm and sunny day. The nearly hour long concert culminated with trumpets inside the tower accompanying the 72-bell carillon for Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.”
At 12:50 p.m., the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Color Guard Team, led by the Firefighters of Highland Guard Naperville bagpipers, marched down Rotary Hill announcing the start of the formal dedication. The Pledge of Allegiance began at 1 p.m., followed by the “Star Spangled Banner,” an invocation, and remarks by Mayor George Pradel, park district president and MCF board members Kristen Jungles and MCF board chairman Brien Nagle. The poem inscribed on Big Joe, the nearly 6-ton bell that is the Millennium Carillon’s largest and named for city founder Joseph Naper, was read while the carillon played Igor Stravinsky’s finale to “Firebird.” The Moser Tower dedication plaque was unveiled and finally, the lottery to see who would climb the tower to the top began at 1:30 p.m.
“The event was a fitting tribute to this momentous day,” Nagle said.
Moser Tower is now open regularly to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. into October, weather permitting, until the Park District determines that it has become too cold or getting dark too early for tours to be conducted safely. Admission is $3 for everyone ages 5 and older. Children under 4 are free. There is no charge for entry to the Visitors Center adjacent to Moser Tower, also the place where tickets will be sold.
Construction of the Millennium Carillon was completed in 2000 through generous private donations, including $1 million from Harold and Margaret Moser, and a $1.5 million line of credit from the city. Carillon recitals have played ever since, but Moser Tower has remained closed to the public because of construction. In May 2005, the City Council voted to take custody of the carillon and its tower and designated a portion of Naperville’s Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) funds to complete the landmark.