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Bell Tower

Highland Lawn Bell Tower

History of the Bell Tower

     A special session was called by the board on September 4, 1894.  Present were J. S. Beach, W. T. Beaucamp, G. E. Farrington, and William Mack.  W. R. McKeen and R. W. Thompson were absent.  The chair was occupied by Mayor Fred A. Ross.  At that meeting, they decided to construct the bell tower at Highland Lawn.

     The plans submitted by the Chicago architect Paul S. Lietz for the gateway were adopted.  Mr. Lietz's proposition was that the board furnish transportation to and from Cincinnati for him and that he receive five percent of the construction cost as payment for his plans and supervision.  They accepted his proposal. 

     The bid for the job was awarded to the Heidenreich Company on September 27, with construction to be completed by December 1894.  The Heidenreich Company contracted Edward Hazledine to make the wrought iron entry gates.  The stone work was done by the Terre Haute Stone Company.

     The entrance consists of a circular tower containing a lodge, a semicircle arch for a gateway, and a waiting room.  The waiting room, with its concrete floor, was used as a carriage entrance.  The foundation is limestone, and the body of the entire structure is Bedford stone.  The roof was made of slate, and the towers capped with tiling.  Handsome lamps were also placed beneath each arch.  The letters "Highland Lawn" on the front of the main arch are made of wrought iron in a rustic design.  It also has stone fence posts with iron fencing on the approach.  The gates leading to the main avenue are eighteen feet wide.  Smaller gates at each side are four feet wide.  The original design did not include the clock seen today.

     The gate sits one-hundred sixty feet up the main drive, two-hundred feet from the National Road.  The frontage of the entire structure is seventy-two feet.  The main tower stands sixty feet tall. 

     The bell tower was renovated beginning in 1989 and completed in 1991.  Funds for the renovation were obtained through a grant from the state of Indiana and donations from local businesses and citizens. 

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