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The Brooklyn College Library tower and cupola were covered during the fall semester while it received a major facelift.

After a painstaking restoration and upgrade, the clocktower and cupola on the Brooklyn College Library building will be as good as new and better.

As they close in on 90 years, the iconic cupola and clock tower that stand on the Brooklyn College Library building have new life thanks to an extensive restoration project that began this summer.

Initially erected between 1935 and 1937 as part of architect Randolph Evans’ plans for Brooklyn College’s Georgian-style campus, the tower and its gleaming cupola have remained symbols of excellence and community for nearly a century. But time dulled the signature gold-leaf flake and took a toll on the façade and windows.

So, after a minor delay due to COVID-19, the cupola and tower received repairs to its roof and windows, a new door on the balcony, exterior waterproofing, and a new lighting system to help the college mark holidays and other special occasions. The finishing touch was fresh gilding for the dome, a craftsman-like, decorative technique that will help keep its luster for years to come.

Carillon Carries On

While the campus was dormant in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, the carillon that rings out from the library’s clock tower continued to serve the college and surrounding community. Since it was installed in the late 1950s, the bells have marked not only the passage of time with Westminster quarter-hour chimes, but also national holidays and solemn events like 9/11. During the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak, the carillon joined New Yorkers in a salute to healthcare professionals with a special peal that played each evening at 7 p.m. until the restoration began.

As we await the final unveiling of the restored library clocktower. a look at it over the decades, from the year it was first built in the 1930s to the present. During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bells you hear played each evening at 7 p.m. to honor healthcare professionals on the front line.

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