El Campanil, Mills College

Julia Morgan

The front and back

This bell tower, a reminder of those on Eastern campuses, was one of Morgan's first commissions after she established an independent practice. Mills College was a women's college and this commission initiates a number of important works executed for women's groups (especially the YWCA). The bell tower was sited in a natural setting, boldly at a diagonal from the Main Building (the only building at this time comprising the campus).

Although the more usual bell tower would have been square, Morgan's is 12' x 24' at the base. This 72' high building is constructed of reinforced concrete. Like the Carnegie Library built two years later (also of concrete), it survived the devastating earthquake of 1906--unscathed.


The top

This 5-story tower, with arched openings at 4 levels for each of the eight bells, is in the Mission style. It has a red tile roof as well as tile over the buttresses and the shed roof on the first floor.

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