College Bell




Luther College

Building Name

College Bell

Year Built


Architectural Style

Midcentury Modern

There doesn’t seem to be an entry for this bell holder in the complete Altfillisch firm Project List. But a May 7, 1956 A. R. Coffeen letter to the Luther Class of 1956 describes a Charles Altfillisch plan for the “Victory Bell” that included Winona stone, steel lintel support for the bell setting, a 2 ⅝” painted fir seat, and a concrete foundation, total cost not to exceed $1,095. This is very much like the bell holder that was installed, except that the bench is of cantilevered concrete. An early 2000s renovation replaced the original wood nameplate with a brass nameplate using the current College logo and added new copper flashing along the top.

There was an earlier bell, a gift from Luther students, hung in Main I from 1874. In 1898 1000 small replicas of that bell were struck from the metal saved during the 1889 fire that destroyed Main I. A new bell, donated by Bjorn Edwards of Chicago, was dedicated in 1890 and was placed in front of Main II, where students could ring it between hours. When Main II was destroyed by fire in 1942, the bell was mounted in front of Preus Gymnasium where it stood until the Gymnasium was burned in 1961. The new bell holder and setting was one of the college’s Centennial projects.

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