Heritage, Volume 10, Number 4, Fall 1992 Page: 13
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The bells at the Arneson River Theater in San Antonio were hung to honor Robert H.H. Hugman, the concept architect of the that city's famous River Walk.
The bell was donated to the county by the
federal government in September of 1974.
It is rung on special occasions, especially
San Jacinto Day.
Spanish mission architecture has influenced
other San Antonio buildings. San
Anthony of Padua Catholic Church was
built in the style of the Alamo. A single
bell, such as the Alamo once had, is in a
tower of that church.
The beautiful Chapel I at Randolph
Air Force Base that was completed and
dedicated in 1934 has a combined appearance
of Missions SanJose and Concepcion.
The chapel looks as if it had not been
completed, because the cupola on top of
the right tower is missing. In the days of the
old Spanish missions, a law exempted all
unfinished buildings from taxation; this is
said to be a carryover. Visible bells in the
tower are decorative. A steel alloy church
bell cast in Hillsboro, Ohio, can be heard.
All of the bells and towers discussed
...Bells were given names
and were baptized in order
that they might have the
power to turn away thun.
der and lightning, to protect
people from storms....
to drive away evil spirits,
and to put out fires.
thus far have had some relationship to San
Antonio's early missions. An exception is
San Antonio's only real carillon located
in the tower of Central Christian Church
on Romana Plaza. Mr. and Mrs. Lester A.
Nordan donated the 47-bell carillon cast
by Petit and Fritsen of Aarle-Rixtel, The
Netherlands, and it was dedicated De
cember 24,1953. A forty-eighth bell was
added in 1987. The bourdon, or low bell,
weighs 3,850 pounds. The clapper alone
on that bells weighs 150 pounds. Internationally
known carillonneur George
Gregory has played the Nordan Memorial
Carillon since 1959.
Throughout the history of San Antonio,
a city that may well be named the City
of Bells, bells have rung for joy at times of
rejoicing. They have tolled to indicate
sorrow. They have been used to rouse, to
summon, to frighten, to warn, to cheer, to
console, and to inspire. Without a doubt,
bells seem to be one of the most varied and
meaningful instruments of communication
found in San Antonio's fascinating
Collins is a retired school teacher from San
Antonio who now gives presentations on the
historic bells of that city to civic groups.
HERITAGE * FALL 1992 13
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 10, Number 4, Fall 1992, periodical, Autumn 1992; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45421/m1/13/: accessed February 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.