Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Meneely Bell in Lincoln Park

Just behind the Lincoln Park tennis courts and directly across from the old laboratory of Professor James Hall, there is a very large bell.  There is surprisingly little information on this bell, but the inscription on it gives a few clues as to its history.

The front of the bell reads:   Purchased under the supervision of the Albany Board of Fire Commissioners, June 1882.  M.N. Nolan, Mayor.  Thomas Willard, Philip O'Brien, H.S. Rosenthal, A.N. Brady, Thomas Austin.  Chief Engineer, James McQuade.

The reverse of the bell notes that it was cast by the famous Meneely foundry.

According to the 1917 Albany Guide Book:

The "Big Ben" of the city bells is in the City Hall tower and is used for striking fire alarms, the hour of 9 o'clock, and for municipal purposes generally.  It was cast in 1882 by Meneelly of West Troy; weight, 7,049 pounds; height, 50 1/2 inches; diameter at mouth, 70 inches; thickness, 5 1/2 inches.  Placed in position October 28, 1882

It may have been removed from City Hall when the carillon was installed in 1927.  By then, the need for a fire bell in the tower had lessened as a new fire telegraph station had been built on Delaware Avenue in 1917.  It's less clear exactly when the bell was moved to Lincoln Park.

Edited to add:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I've been wondering when that bell appeared in Lincoln Park. I assumed it was the same bell that had originally been in city hall but Eric's comment helps clear up when it moved. It's a shame there's no plaque nearby to explain it all!