Things I Saw in Stony Brook: Annoying Fake Bell Edition

This is the Administration Building at Stony Brook. It is a nice building. It is well-landscaped. Inside there is a cast of a fossilized dinosaur skeleton and it’s really cool.

It does not, however, have a bell tower.

Why am I telling you this? Because every hour on the hour, a Big-Ben like series of chimes comes from this building, followed by one bell for each hour after 12:00. And it drives me batty.

Stony Brook just doesn’t have a campus that looks like it needs to have an old church bell ringing the time. Part of my evidence for this is that there’s just clearly no place a bell like that could be housed. We have a nice campus but we’re into brick, low buildings, and lots of flowers. We’re not so much into ivy and towers and old birch trees and such. The bell doesn’t belong.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the fact that the bell is faked that bugs me. CU has a fake church bell too, and I really love it. Because it comes from the tower of the old Auditorium building, which feels for all the world like the kind of place a bell should be ringing from. And it can be heard best in the old part of campus where the architecture reminds you that the campus has been there for almost 150 years.

Stony Brook just finished it’s first 50 a few years ago. We just don’t need a bell that sounds like it’s a century older than we are.


About Colin West
Colin West is a graduate student in quantum information theory, working at the Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University. Originally from Colorado (where he attended college), his interests outside of physics include politics, paper-folding, puzzles, playing-cards, and apparently, plosives.

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