Vernacular Architecture and Tradition

in the Space and Sound of

The Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower

2016

A look at patterns of human interaction and recollection, in an attempt to better understand the role and influence of symbolic memorial and tradition in the built environment.

The goal of this project aimed to better understand the role and influence of symbolic memorial and tradition in the built environment. This includes observing current and documented patterns of human interaction and recollection in the local community, done through archival research, community observation, polls, interviews, and more.

“Most of us who live in Chapel Hill would agree that there are certain elements of this place that are “sacred.” The “well and the bell and the stone walls” are synonymous with “the university of the people.” When I was renovating my house just west of campus, a mason working on my chimney stopped suddenly to listen to the sound of the Bell Tower chiming the hour. He said, “hear that? As long as you can hear that, this house will be valuable. And when you can’t hear that, nothing will matter.”

Preservation Notes [serial]. N.d. Preservation Chapel Hill (Organization). North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, North Carolina. Call number: C971.68 C46p8.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection. N.d. Miscellaneous Archival Materials. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Photographic Laboratory., North Carolina.