200 Main Street

Architectural Description: 

NRDIS NRMRA, Colonial Revival

Historical Narrative: 

The bell tower was a gift from Samuel Lester Fuller, Phillips Academy Class of 1894, grandson of Rev. Samuel Lester Fuller, the first rector of Christ Church, Andover. Rev. Fuller who was the son of the Reverend Samuel Fuller of Ressalaerville, New York.

The tower was built as a memorial to the 87 Phillips Academy men killed during World War I. This site was known locally as the "Training Field" and was used to drill men during the Revolutionary War. Ground was broken in the spring of 1922 and the corner stone laid on June 16, 1922. Construction slowed at first due to difficulties in getting steel for the super structure and granite for the base material. The tower is 159 feet to the top of the weather vane and a local landmark.

The Fuller Memorial Tower was designed by Guy Lowell and built by E.W. Pitman Co. of Lawrence, MA. The names of all 87 Veterans are inscribed in the granite. The west face: MONUMENTUM ET PIGNUS, north face: POST EOS LUCET VIA and the south face: LOCO SANCTO STABUNT. The Memorial Tower was dedicated in June 1923 with an address delivered by Major Marlborough Churchill, Class of 1896.

The Tower is also a Carillon and housed thirty bells when originally built. The bells were cast by the John Taylor Co. of Loughborough, England. The bells were first played on Armistice Day, "Veterans Day", on November 11, 1923, by Dr. Carl Platteicher, the head of the Academy Music Department. At the dedication on December 1, 1923 a recital was given by Edward Shippen Barnes, then the organist of Rutgers Presbyterian Church in New York City. In the summer of 1925 Dr. Platteicher went to Belgium to study at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, When he returned he suggested that seven more bells be added to complete the three full chromatic octaves. The bells were installed in May 1926, cast at the same foundry and a gift from the Fuller family.

Many recitals had been given on the instrument before the new bells were added including Belgian carillonneurs Anton Bress and Kamiel Lefevere. In 1927 Jef Denyn, the founder and director of the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, came to America on his first and only recital tour. The Fuller Bell Tower was his second recital during his tour.

The clock is installed with an automatic Westminster quarter-chime mechanism which operated the lowest bells of the carillon.

By the 1960s the Memorial Tower needed repairs as did the instrument. Arthur Bigelow, eminent authority on bells and bellmaster of Princeton University, was hired to examine the carillon. He determined that the top18 ball were not cast heavy enough to balance the rest of the carillon, and several of them were poorly tuned. in 1966 the top 18 bells were replaced with new ones cast by the Dutch firm of Petit & Fritsen. The Andover carillon is considered a medium-size instrument with 37 bells.

The lowest bell, "Bourbon", sounds the note E and weighs 2347 pounds. The highest bell also sounding E, weighs 22 pounds.

In 1975 Sally Slade Warner A.A.G. O., Ch. M, became the Academy Carillonneur and Instructor. She studied organ and church music at the New England Conservatory of Music and was Director of Music at the Church of St. John the Evangelist on Beacon Hill in Boston. Ms. Warner also studied at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium.
She was also the Record Librarian of Phillips. Many recitals were given during her tenure.

Structural issues with the tower began to develop and fundraising began to completely rebuild the tower in 2005-2006. It was slowly disassembled, the tower lantern lowered to the ground by crane. All the brick veneer and steel frame work were replaced and the tower and carillon reinstalled. Now fully automated, it can still be played manually


Phillips Academy, Andover Massachusetts, An Illustrated History of the Property, 1990
by Robert A. Domingue, PA Class of 1954.
Andover Historical Society files,
The Samuel Lester Fuller Carillon, Memorial Tower, PA. 1978

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlacePhillips District - Phillips Academy
Historic DistrictAcademy Hill NRH District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameFuller Memorial Bell Tower
Present UseBell tower; memorial to W. W. I soldiers
Original Usebell tower & verterns memorial
Construction Date1923
SourceP.A. W.T. brochure
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Architect/BuilderGuy Lowell
Major Alterations2010 - completely rebuilt from the ground up.
Demolition Details2010 - then rebuilt
Acreageless than one acre
SettingPhillips Academy Campus
Map and parcel41-4
MHC NumberANV.338
Recorded byBarbara Thibault, James S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered11-7-90, 10/17/2017