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MSU receives exact replica of Liberty Bell Amanda Warner
Times Record News Times Record News Posted November 19, 2008 at 1 a.m. Email Discuss Share » Digg " onclick="return fbs_click()" target="_blank" title="Share this on Facebook" class="facebook">Facebook LinkedIn Tweet this Print A A A
Torin Halsey/Times Record News
An exact replica of the Liberty Bell, cast in bronze at a foundry in Annecy, France, is installed in front of Midwestern State University Tuesday afternoon. The 12,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych],000-pound display includes a large granite base, and two plaques of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
After a long journey over the Atlantic, a piece of life-size history has landed in Wichita Falls.
An exact replica of the Liberty Bell — from the inscriptions to the crack — was donated to Midwestern State University by community members Aurora and Phil Bolin.
“It is very impressive,” said Janus Buss,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], director for public information and marketing at MSU. “I think people are going to be surprised at the beauty of it. It should bring people to the campus.”
The bell itself stands 42-3/16 inches high, has a diameter of 44-1/2 inches and weighs 2,050 pounds. It was hand crafted by a company in France, cast in bronze and shipped to its new home in front of the Hardin Administration Building.
Because of its weight, the bell crossed the ocean by boat. The passage took two weeks.
“It is an exact replica of the one in Philadelphia,” Buss said. “It’s been delivered and installed, but we have not set a date for the dedication.”
From the architect to the construction company, cement, landscaping, lights and the bell itself, the project cost just under $219,000.
“We’re very appreciative to the Bolins for providing the funds,” Buss said. “They’re very dedicated to the community.”
Gary Baker, of Staley-Baker-Monson Architects, designed the brick, granite and concrete setting for the bell.
“I think this will be something the community will really enjoy,” Baker said. “It’s very unique and has been an extremely fun project to work on.”
Talk about the project began in June, and several people were instrumental in the process, Baker said.
“We wanted to design an area that would compliment the university,” Baker said. “Mr. Bolin was great to work with. He’s very proud of this community.”
The bell rests in a stand which is anchored to granite, and all of which is anchored to a raised concrete platform on the university lawn.
On either side of the stand rest two bronze plaques: one with the Declaration of Independence, one with the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
“We wanted to get back to our roots,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych],” Baker said. “I was really excited about having it here.”
In addition to the plaques, the inscriptions on the bell match the original, steeping the display in history.
A Bible verse, Leviticus 25:10, reads “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” accompanied by the familiar “Pass and Stow.”
The casting method used to craft the bell was the lost wax process,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], and the replica was finely tuned to exacting musical standards.
“It’s been rung a little bit out there today,” Baker said. “It sounds very beautiful.”
All that remains to be completed is the setting. Concrete needs to be stained, lighting installed,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], landscaping completed and clean-up performed.
The site should be finished in about two weeks, weather permitting, and a dedication ceremony will be held soon after.
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