About the Burton Memorial Tower

The Burton Memorial Tower is a well-known landmark on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. Standing at over 260 feet tall, the tower is a towering symbol of the university’s history and traditions.


The tower, named after former university regent and Michigan Governor Fred M. Burton, was designed by Albert Kahn, a prominent architect who designed many buildings on the University of Michigan campus. It was completed in 1936 as a memorial to James B. Angell, the university’s president from 1871 to 1909. 


 The tower is built in the Collegiate Gothic style, with a blend of medieval and modern elements. It is constructed of Indiana limestone, with decorative carvings and intricate details. The clock on the tower, visible from many parts of campus, has four faces with a diameter of 11 feet and is powered by a weight and pulley system, which must be wound manually every week.


Inside the tower, there is a carillon of 53 bells, which are played by a carillonist on special occasions. The carillonist sits in a small room at the top of the tower and plays the bells using a keyboard and pedals. The bells can also be played automatically by a computer program.


In addition to its beauty and history, the Burton Memorial Tower serves an important function on campus. It is used as a reference point for directions, and the clock and bells serve as a gathering point for events and celebrations. The tower is a beloved symbol of the University of Michigan and a popular spot for students, faculty, and visitors to take in the beautiful campus views.


An architecture student pursuing her master's at TCAUP, and strolling through the campus with her eyes glued to the pretty buildings and prettier trees (wrote this in Fall, for context)

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